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If you weren’t an author, what other art would you likely pursue?
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Becoming an actor was definitely on my short list growing up, but I never got past stage fright in order to truly pursue anything like it. I prefer solitary arts, where one doesn’t have to speak much before crowds, and where one’s appearance isn’t required. The visual arts can stand alone and speak for themselves without the artist in most cases.
If I did not pursue writing, throwing every quart of blood I have at it, I’d have pursued biology not art. I would have determined I had to get through the mast and chemistry courses to get that degree, and I would work in a laboratory or a zoo. Hopefully, I would be in a zoo, wrestling giant bags/bales of food for my Giraffe friends. But, the question is what other art would you pursue: visual arts.
Although biologist/zoologist would be my day job, I have no doubt I would have a visual arts hobby on the side. I like to be busy. Busy makes me happy. Not just any busy, though. It must be something that results in a product of some sort. Thus, I say visual arts. Whether, I went for photography or painting, kept up sketching, or learned how to cartoon better, the side hustle I now enjoy would have remained the same.
This could have led me to cinematography instead of just a side-hustle, if you think about my love of film and story telling, mixed with that desire to create something tangible–it just makes the most sense. What would I have enjoyed working on? I don’t know if it would have been wildlife documentaries or cinematic epics, but it’s in there somewhere. It all depends on where the path led. Sometimes choices are defined, and sometimes they’re up to your other decisions.
The visual arts make perfect sense in my case, because you already see an aptitude in the other work that I do, including the writing. My work has been described as cinematic in scope. I love taking pictures and playing with light. I cannot be certain that I would have done more with the drawing than I have on my current path. Drawing has been a lifelong past time, but I have never truly attempted to better my skills in that department. I am content with drawing my whimsical cartoons of a stroppy stuffed duck. It is exactly as I see it.
Someday, I’d love to pursue Zo as a cartoon series, but I do not have the resources to devote to this project as yet. Animation requires more hands than I have at my disposal. Could I write the idea? I am better suited to storyboards and writing than attempting to draw the series myself. A team of animators are definitely far more capable than I to do the visual work.
Interestingly, I see photography and other visual art as a great informer of writing. We write what know, and what we know we have seen. Basically, I am using words to paint images on the readers mind. This powerful endeavor has enchanted me since reading my first book. I am glad that I understand this intersection of the arts, and use it to better my work. Icing on the cake would be to work as the architect (screenwriter) of a film, and join in the process of bringing word to vision.
A background in visual art on any level is a bonus for working in film as the medium is this great marriage between text and picture. I encourage anyone pursuing film to become strong in writing and visual art. The greatest films we have ever been witness to are those created with these things in mind. The talent behind them brought the power of word and picture together in such magical ways.
Unsurprisingly, I also paint both digitally and traditionally. Because the things I write are so material, having a means to illustrate some ideas is a bonus. This doesn’t happen as frequently as it probably should, but then I have never focused on this portion of my talents as I should. In all honesty, it never occurred to me that I could, as I was always being steered toward studying the sciences.
Visual art will always be my refuge, whether I pursue it more seriously or not in the future. Regardless, I currently do use my abilities as they are to create promotional material and art around my novels. That will never end. Given more time, it is likely I would do more of this, so stay tuned for that part of the journey!
Click on the links below to find out what other art the writers of the Open Book Blog Hop might pursue if they stopped writing…