Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Lesson learned from an ant
Wow- if we could only learn to do such things. Made me think- sometimes we do need to persist, keep on keeping on- but I think we get encouraged to persist more often than we do to evaluate our situation and remove the obstacles that are blocking our way, because sometime slightly changing our course of action, or taking the time to remove the obstacles has bigger results.
In all the conference, workshop, etc. I have attended and purusing the internet's art and writing groups- there is more encouragement to "keep doing what you are doing" and surely, eventually it will all work out- and not so much encouragement to do some "self evaluation".
I have listen so often to a new writers or artist express their frustration with the biz and how "unfair" it all is. I also have seen the large steel door fall over their eyes as the sirens start to blare and red flashing lights start to spin over their heads when I suggest they might want to think of switching genres, take some classes or consider some critique of their work. To take a line from The Princess Bride, "it is inconceivable," proving "that ant" is smarter than they are.
I was in a critique workshop with a really talented writer, very descriptive in her settings and characters, who was convinced she should write picturebook, though everyone told her she had to pare down her lovely descriptive words- but she had not interest in considering writing chapter books.
I am dumbfounded by writers who are offended by even the idea of learning what three act structure, plotting, set ups and pay off, etc. ARE, let alone using them to create a better story.
Or in Art- have no interest in learning the Design rules or considering others critique. That ant is smarter!
Yes I have some natural talent in Art- but my success comes from evaluation, mine and others- and changing- or a better word would be learning- which directly came from teaching- meaning I had to take others advice- it really is not the horrid thing some think.
I am not doing exactly what I dreamed of doing- I wanted to create illustrations like Maurice Sendek- pen and ink and water color- I could still be doing that- and be frustrated as hell , unpublished, but seek solace in going to writer and art boards on the web and getting comfort by being told to "keep on keeping on" and that Ant would be smarter than me! Don't worry- there are plenty areas of my life that ant is way smarter than me! And my road to illustrating and writing children's book is still an uphill battle- but at least the trail is clear.