Blog

art and the creative process

N. C. Wyeth

I stand in awe of the work of Newell Convers Wyeth. His work is loose, alive –– attentively observant of light and shadow, expressive, deceptively simple yet sophisticated in detail. Wyeth’s compositions never lose focus upon their centre of interest, and they are always full of movement. We can all stand to take a page from N.C. Wyeth’s book of mastery and apply his library of examples to our own work.

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What Type of Artist Am I?

Some artists or writers include a broad range of genres in their portfolio – science fiction, fantasy, abstract work, animation rotations, comic book work and landscape art. This sheer variety of genres will cause an art director or editor to pause. They respond to some portfolio they are reviewing, or a manuscript with, “I don’t know what he does. I don’t get it.” Or, “She doesn’t know her own voice yet.”

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Composition

What goes into a good composition? I could wax poetic about how the golden ratio has been used for centuries to create dynamic compositions; or about balancing the sizes of your objects, or where to place your horizon line. But there are more than enough authors and teachers online that do a better job than I ever could. The same goes for how to structure a written composition.

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Formula

I am not a fan of formula writing. I don’t like neat little bows tied at the end of stories, or stories where I can guess every reveal before the actual reveal.

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Villains

I often give workshops at public and private schools. I emphasize that everything is about telling a story and every story needs a good villain.

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C. S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

Lewis was an atheist whose friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien influenced him to embrace Christianity. Every so often one reads internet reports of the urge to make C. S. Lewis more “marketable” and less “hurtful” by expunging any Christian reference from his work or banning The Chronicles of Narnia from bookshelves.

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Seasons of Change

At six years old, after returning home from my first day at an art camp, an experience I can only describe as a spiritual awakening, I announced to my parents, with tremendous sincerity and conviction that I was going to become an artist.

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Criticism and Growth

Creative artists have a particular aversion to criticism. No one likes to hear that the work they have invested their love, their sweat and time into making, is unappealing.

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