Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Learning from Other Art Forms

Over the weekend, my sister-in-law turned me onto the show Ink Master. I've considered getting a tattoo off and on for about a decade, now, and I've always been intrigued by the unique art form that is making pictures on skin. So it shouldn't be a surprise that I binge-watched the entire season that Netflix had available, then tracked down the rest of the seasons on Hulu.

After that, I thought maybe I should look into what it takes to become a tattoo artist (not for my own sake: I can't draw AT ALL, and any ink I poked into someone's skin would just turn into an ugly mess). But I found a podcast hosted by a man who's been tattooing for a very long time. He said something that really struck me as relevant to any artist, whether they're a writer, painter, comic-artist, or musician.

This man (Keith Ciaramello) said that as a young man, he would draw in sketch books, but any time a finger, or a nose, or an eye failed to turn out the way he wanted it to, he would turn to the next page in the sketch book and start something new. What tattooing did for him was it forced him to finally finish a piece of artwork. As a result, he started to really grow as an artist.

This reminded me of something I've been thinking through (and possibly even blogged about in the past). To really grow as an artist, the artist has to finish something. Good or bad, I can't grow as a writer until I get a chance to see the picture as a WHOLE.

That's all I'm going to say on the topic. If you want to grow, finish your projects. Learn from the structure, see what you did right, what you did wrong, and then see if you can fix it before you move on to the next project.

Giles still likes the idea of getting a tattoo, but it might be a few more years. If ever. Until then, he'll enjoy artwork from afar.

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