Friday, February 10, 2012

The Science of Story

Got my sketchbook in the mail yesterday for the new Sketchbook Project: Limited Edition. My theme is "The science of story". For once, I decided to get crackin' on this right away, rather than procrastinate. 

I've been thinking about how to interpret this theme. The themes always hang me up a bit. I decided to start a pinterest board for sciency-type inspiration: vintage pop science magazine covers, scientific illustrations, medieval diagrams of plants and animals, etc. My idea so far is to think about story writing and telling as if there were a scientific method to it. Chemical elements to combine into a story reaction. Specimens of story archetypes to document. What would the scientific formula of creating a story look like, if there were such a thing?

I was just reading a note on Facebook about how too many people are trying to pass off "good enough" or "satisfactory" art these days to make a living, rather than really going for broke and making the best art they possibly can (which, according to some survey data he examined, is actually more lucrative and efficient). I don't know if I agree with that 100% (not sure whether artists today are any lazier than they've ever been; maybe we're all just more aware of each other), but I do think I personally settle a lot in my own work, rushing to finish before my idea is completely fleshed out where I want it. Seems like I'm always rushing last minute to fulfill a deadline, or to get my stuff into the next kiln firing, and I'll sacrifice some elements I wanted just to have a finished piece. I think maybe it's time to spend more time on fewer, better pieces, rather than making lots of little, less than satisfactory pieces.

Each one of my sketchbooks so far have been unfinished, and far less than I originally envisioned. I hope I can push this one closer to excellence. Just for personal pride. It would be nice to have a finished sketchbook that I actually felt proud enough of to put in my portfolio.

We'll see how it goes. I hope I'm not all talk this time around!

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