On Art & Writing (A Personal Experience)
Art begets art is an expression, no doubt, you’ve all heard before. Whether its portraits from the 19th century, or a heavy metal album, or a statue, by an artist you’ve never heard of and will never meet, these things all come together to provide inspiration or ideas. Writers like all other artists draw from their exposure to the creative worlds around them.
Each form of art possesses its own version of solidity in an ever changing and evolving world of creative landscapes, politics, environment and technology. The various forms of solidity, whether it be a painting or piece of music, allows for the expression to remain as a continuous statement of the era or circumstance under which it was created.
The continuous form allows one to revisit the emotional state that a work has evoked from the time we first experienced it, to when we see it again, regardless of the time in between. In this respect, despite that our views and opinions will change, association ensures that the initial feeling is never completely lost. As our views and opinions about a certain piece or the context evolve, it is our initial thoughts and feelings that provide for how we will continue to receive the piece.
Each art form serves a different purpose in regards to visual or auditory stimuli. Naturally, the way each is received and the purpose it serves depends on the individual. Personally, and in regards to writing, different forms can initiate ideas and thought processes that serves some scenes, characters or moments better than others. Whether working on chilling horror fiction or heart warming romance music has as much of an influence over the creative process as does my muse. From the slowest and most tender moments, to scenes of stalking and obsession, music in its various forms provides endless soundtracks that range from hypnotic and terrifying whispers of Corey Taylor, to the skin pricking and bombastic moods of an entire orchestra.
Music’s diversity is one of its most compelling aspects. The world is full of all types of organized noise and like no other form of art, it can carry you exactly where you need to go. This is in part what makes it so valuable and inspiring. Whether you’re on a train trying to build internal conflict or sitting in a park writing about the beaches of Mexico, or in your city apartment, surrounded by people, fumes, rain and noise. Music provides you not only with inspiration and a shifting mind set, but your own world in which to cocoon yourself and your thought process, away from the noise around you.
For some, such as myself, music is the greatest of the inspirations and writing companions. For others, it’s silence, and for others, it’s day time television. As I write this, it’s mid morning, and it’s also one of the few times I’m writing in relative silence. The birds have stopped singing and have abandoned the bird bath, and this time of the day, there are only a few cars. In fact, the loudest thing, aside from my fingers on the keys, is the hum of my computer. It’s one of those moments where the world feels like it has slowed right down. The perfect conditions for reading a book. But, for people like me, on any other day, writing in silence, or the sounds of nature, is torturous and cruel. Music, like no other form of art, helps me focus, think, and it limits my distractions.
With that said, it isn’t the only art that begets my art. It’s certainly the most influential and this may, at least in part, come down to the expansiveness and not a particular piece (I’m victim to my writing moods, and each day brings another variation.). Other forms of art, have, at times, been just as, if not more influential. The city art gallery has extraordinary Victorian era paintings that have proven themselves to be far more captivating than some of the exhibitions. One of the many wonders of the Victorian era (aside from the literature) is these and many other portraits that capture the moods, emotions and relationships so elegantly. The old cliche is “a picture is worth a thousand words” and whether or not this is true, era paintings for historical fiction writers are amongst the most beautiful things in the world.
Our metaphysical connection with art is fascinating and compelling. While music influences my mood, and paintings my knowledge and passion, these are only two of the ways one can connect with different works and they are surface level at best. To examine how we connect with and the deeper influences of art, would take a much a longer essay. And I can’t help but feel as though it would detract from the magic of taking in the same stimuli and processing it in such different ways, that one piece of music or a single painting, can influence or inspire countless different works. While there will be people that say “there is no magic here” and can boil it down to our culture, backgrounds, personality, the one thing that will stand up against that, is no matter how logical the explanation, life will always mirror art, and art will always mirror life. Until the day the world ends, both of will survive and feed off each other.