Sometin' out of nuttin'
Where do you get your ideas? It's a question commonly put to what our society calls the creative types: artists, writers, and musicians. I'm always stumped by the desire to give an answer that's snarky or dumb. Where don't I get my ideas?
I think that
question comes from people who are intimidated by the blank page or canvas. Everyone taps into their creative side. Lawyers always look for the legal angle. Civil bureaucrats for ways to screw us with taxes. For them, no blank canvas stares back as there is already a network of requirements and processes, and it's easy to quantify what works and what doesn't.
The difference for the creative types is that we are expected to come up with something both original and catchy. We're expected to tread over boundaries and act as if we make something from nothing.
For most of my writer and artist friends, the issue is not a dearth of ideas but a lack of time to work them all out. That damn Muse is such a task master. Always a bitch!When God give you a talent, he also hands you a whip
. Truman Capote
It's not that I consider myself especially talented, but I do work hard. As a writer and student of the crazy, stupid, and obscene, I turn to true crime stories for inspiration. Certainly I can come up with plenty of my own tales, however, life always trumps art. The news gives me details and motives that flesh out a good story. A sadistic serial killer who gets trapped by the police when he feels he's not getting due credit for his gruesome deeds. A mild-mannered geek murders his wife because she gets on his case for doing cocaine, which he consumes to cope with her growing weight. An astronaut dons a diaper and treks nonstop from Texas to Florida to confront her sexual rival. How can you make this up?
Other times, I overhear a morsel of gossip, and my mind races to complete the story.
As for my art, I'm a representational artist, meaning I paint a person, it looks like a certain person, I paint a landscape, it looks like a landscape. But as in writing, it's all about interpretation. What are the details I focus on? What is my style? How do other artists combine subjects to produce something that is both representational and expressive as does Rene Farkass
. How do I stretch my abilities without compromising my style or copying? How do I keep from going stale?
I can understand the frustration of musicians. They write a hit song and are told, make another one, only different and better. It's not easy tapping into the universe and understanding what the Muse is trying to tell us. What works for you?
Labels: blank page, Rene Farkass, the Muse, Truman Capote