Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Blogging Mission

I've been getting two strong senses of what I've been wanting to do with this blog. I have two major loves that have been standing out to me for the last few months as I've contemplated what I wanted to put into my blog account.

The first is this… anyone who's a writer, or even a creative in general, knows that it's hard to do this job. I mean yeah, you are passionate about what you do but sometimes it's just so hard to continue with a positive attitude when so much is stacked against you. One of the things that I've tried to do to combat this is putting together an inspiration file. When I was in school for illustration, one of my favorite teachers said in one of my classes that you have to surround yourself with the things that inspire you. "Keep those things and throw the rest away." And I took it more literal at the time. I had a thick file of things that inspired me consisting of various art and quotes and things. And I've since not really replaced it and started a spot for it in my current life. Because that's the thing about inspiration, you have to replace it. It doesn't come on it's own you have to fill that cup up when you have it for the times when you don't.

But the point of having inspiration where you can get to it quickly, especially when it's one of those times in your life where you need a pick me up, means that it's also shareable. Especially if you want to keep it nearby. And since I do a lot of work on the computer it will most definitely be nearby. And I want to share stuff that motivates and inspires me, so readers can add to their inspiration file as well. If I come up with a snappier name I'll rename it but for now "INSPIRATION FILE" it is.

The other, Art. YES! As I mentioned before I was an illustration major at Brigham Young University. And it was also a very competitive career path, one that I've set aside for now because I honestly want to be writing right now. (That's really my first love to be honest.) It doesn't mean that I can't do illustration or that I wouldn't do it well. Now I'm not the expert on art but I'd like to think that I'm well trained to know what makes good marketable art as opposed to poorly constructed art that isn't very marketable at all. And I see a lot of writers who struggle with choosing the right kind of art for their book covers… especially self published book covers. Now add the fact that the publishing market is changing right now where even a self-published author can do very well for themselves. And it's just going to continue to bloom. Which means unless writers train themselves on how to pick the "right" art, the problem is just going to get worse unfortunately.

But it doesn't stop there. Because of my art/illustration/design training I know what the artist aspires for as well, or what they SHOULD aspire to. This information needs to be taught or it's going to disappear like every other classically trained discipline. (And I will address what I mean further by that in future posts on this topic.)

So I'll be labeling those entries: "ART AND DESIGN CORE." Core because it will be focused on the core importances of picking smart art and design. I'm hoping that I can train writer eyes to pick the art and artists that know what they are doing and have the appropriate skill level for their equivalent skill level. If you plan on taking several years and classes and going to all the trouble to make a really well told story, you OWE it to yourself to get an artist or designer who's done EXACTLY the same thing. And if you can't recognize that skill level. These posts will help you to see that. (And just to warn you, it also might make you an art snob too.) But I guarantee that you will pick SMARTER art to cover your story and it will only benefit your ability to sell it.