Thursday, August 30, 2012

illustration - kidchan

kiDChan is extremely talented in conveying a very specific mood/atmosphere.

For an artist, this is achieved through color , composition, balance, textures,
application methods, medium, widths, heights, and more.
For a writer, this is done through overt surface imagery, as well as hints of
language, undertones, shadows, nuances, verbal associations, various
effects of rhythm, onomatopoeia and phonetic pattern. (Source)

Certainly different kinds of artists can learn from each other.  Take a look.
How are these moods accomplished, and what language would you use to
translate them into written word? 

In order to convince your reader that he is there, you must assault each of his 
senses, in turn, with color, sound, taste, and texture.  The most improbable tales
can be made believable, if your reader, through his senses, feels certain that he
stands at the middle of events.  - Ray Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing

the well written - salman rushdie

To understand just one life you have to swallow the world...
do you wonder, then, that I was a heavy child?

- Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children

By Gizem Vural

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

from unexpected places - venezuela

For 140 to 160 nights out of the year, for 10 hours at a time, the sky above
where the Catatumbo River flows into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela the
river is pierced by almost constant lightning, producing as many as 280
strikes per hour.  Known as the "Relampago del Catatumbo," this lightning
storm has been raging, on and off, for as long a people can remember.
(via Atlas Obscura)

Sounds like the location for a great story.

By Gustavo Durán

writing + psych - disorders

The newest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5,
comes out in May 2013.  Seven new psychological conditions are being considered
for inclusion: hypersexual disorder, hoarding, premenstrual dysphoric disorder,
binge eating disorder, post-traumatic stress in preschool children, learning disorder,
and cannabis withdrawal.  (Source)

As I've mentioned before, many short stories have been inspired by psychological
disorders.  Any come to mind with these, even indirectly?

Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.
- David Richo

By Clara Sugil

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

on writing - susan sontag

The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream.  A story
should break the reader’s heart.  The story must strike a nerve — in me.
My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head.
I start trembling at the risk.

One can never be alone enough to write.  To see better.

To be a great writer, know everything about adjectives & punctuation (rhythm),
and have moral intelligence, which creates true authority in a writer.

There is a great deal that either has to be given up or be taken away from
you if you are going to succeed in writing a body of work

The writer does not have to write. She must imagine that she must. A great book:
no one is addressed, it counts as cultural surplus, it comes from the will.

- Susan Sontag

By Sara Wilson

Monday, August 27, 2012

the well written - gregory maguire

What’s the first thing you know in life?  Even before you know words?
Sun in the sky.  Heart of gold in a field of blue, and the world cracks open.
You are knowing something.  There you are.

As with all of us, the Scarecrow awoke knowing he had been for some
time already, though unwoken.  There was a sense of vanishing splendor in
the world about him, an echo of a lost sound even before he knew what
sound or echo meant.  The backward crush of time and, also, time’s forward
rush.  The knife of light between his eyes.  The wound of hollowness behind
his forehead.  There was motion, sound, color; there was scent, death, hope. 

- Gregory Maguire, Scarecrow

By Felix Girard

photo stories - closest to the end

Vonnegut said to start [short] stories as close to the end as possible.
If these were beginnings, how would you write them?

By Alison Scarpulla

By Joel Nigel Coleman

By Li Hui

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a dreamer's wisdom - charlie chaplin

The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has
poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped
us into misery and bloodshed. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our
cleverness, hard and unkind. Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise
you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think
and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as
cannon fodder.  Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men
with machine minds and machine hearts!

You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to
create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and
beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Let us fight to free the world!

By Fabo

Saturday, August 25, 2012

illustration - lilac ghost

Nature, animal, and human weave in and out of each other in
Lilac Ghost's work.  She paints with tea and watercolor, which is
almost a representation of her themes, and is inspired by the things
and ideas we all find magical in youth - dancing butterflies, grand
antlers, cute little owls, melancholy mermaids, and friendly ghosts.

Click below to see more.

The earth has music for those who listen.
- George Santayana

Friday, August 24, 2012

on reading - clifton fadiman

When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did
before; you see more in you than there was before.

- Clifton Fadiman

By Aaron Jasinski

from unexpected places - character round up

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not.
I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of.

- Joss Whedon

Do any of these characters belong to you?

Via Mr. Newton

Via Dulceida

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

illustration - adam oehlers

Adam Oehlers is so filled with stories, he's known for working on them into the
wee hours of the night and they end up coming out as not only illustrations, but
also written words.  Here's what Adam says of his storytelling process:

Normally [the creative process] will start with a segment of a story, an image of
a character and a situation and as I am working on the piece the story will slowly
come together until there is an entire history of the character. So the Story and
the first illustration will slowly developed at the same time. If I’m really excited
about the idea Ill move onto a second and third illustration and with each one the
story will develop more and more. Unfortunately I very rarely write them down,
I might scribble the ideas in my note book and some of them will be more detailed
than others but I’ve only ever written down and completed two of my stories.

And some interesting thoughts on the relationship between story and illustration:

I try to not tell too much of the story with my illustrations. I like to capture a
moment, not necessarily the main event but the moment before, or a realization
that the character has. Such as that calm moment before a storm where the viewer
can see something is about to happen but they’re not sure what. Then the text is
there to describe the event. I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with the
relationship between text and image.  (via Invurt)

on writing - susan sontag

[I put time into] making lists of words, to thicken my active vocabulary.
To have puny, not just little, hoax, not just trick, mortifying, not just
embarrassing, bogus, not just fake.

I could make a story out of puny, hoax, mortifying, bogus.
They are a story.

By Andreas (dev art)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the well written - david mitchell

Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an' tho' a cloud's shape nor hue nor size
don't stay the same, it's still a cloud an' so is a soul.  Who can say where the
cloud's blowed from or who the soul'll be 'morrow? Only Sonmi the east an' the
west an' the compass an' the atlas, yay, only the atlas o' clouds.

- David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
  Film trailer here.

By Toshio Ebine

on reading - h.p. lovecraft

All attempts at gaining literary polish must begin with judicious reading, and
the learner must never cease to hold this phase uppermost. In many cases, the
usage of good authors will be found a more effective guide than any amount of
precept. A page of Addison or of Irving will teach more of style than a whole
manual of rules, whilst a story of Poe’s will impress upon the mind a more
vivid notion of powerful and correct description and narration than will ten dry
chapters of a bulky textbook.

Let every student read unceasingly the best writers.

- H.P. Lovecraft

By Dean Cornwell

Monday, August 20, 2012

illustration - erin kelso

Erin is a biologist who illustrates after hours.  The detail and composition of her
work is quite remarkable.  She knows how to use lines to cut through the artwork
and lead the eye to where the attention should be.  More than that, she has great
ideas on how her human creatures can interact with the animal ones.  Have a look.

Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it
represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time.

- Walt Disney Company

from the screen - press pause play

The human spirit, when it is allowed to be made manifest through art,
invariably is going to create greatness.  So it almost doesn't matter what
the medium is, it doesn't matter what the financials are, it doesn't matter
what the delivery vehicles are.  When humans make stuff, we tend to
make interesting things.

- Moby as quoted in the documentary, PressPausePlay

By Mary Doodles

Saturday, August 18, 2012

photo stories - vogue's edith wharton

Vogue US' Wharton social circle reimagined for today:

Actress Juno Temple as Edith's secretary
Writer Jeffrey Eugenides as Henry James
Actor Elijah Wood as Edith's chauffeur
Actor Jack Huston as Morton Fullerton
Sculptor Daniel Chester French as artist Nate Lowman
Actress Marnie Gummer as landscaper Beatrix Farrand
Writer Junot Diaz as diplomat Walter Barry
Writer Jonathan Safran Foer as architect Ogden Codman Jr.
Actor Max Minghella as painter Maxfield Parrish  (Source)

Which famous writer's social circle do you wish you were part of?

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or
the mirror that reflects it.

- Edith Wharton

Friday, August 17, 2012

the well written - david guterson

Ishmael gave himself to the writing of it, and as he did so he understood
this, too: that accident ruled every corner of the universe except the
chambers of the human heart.

- David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars

By Pamela Hill

on writing - roxane gay's tips for contemporary writers

1. Read diversely.

2. Write.

3. See items 1 and 2.

4. Accept that there is no one way to make it as a writer and that the
definition of making it is fluid and tiered.

7. Understand the actual odds and learn to love the slush pile. The
slush pile is not your enemy. It’s actually one of your best friends.
The truth is that a significant percentage of the slush pile, which I
prefer to call the submission queue, is absolutely terrible because
people are lazy and will submit any old thing. If you can write a
good sentence you are already heads and shoulders above most of
what is found in submission queues. You’re not competing against
10,000 submissions a year a magazine receives. You’re competing
against more like 200.  Those are still intimidating odds but they’re
also far more reasonable.

10. Ignore most of the atrocious writing advice that proliferates at
such an alarming rate.

17. Perspective is everything. Someone getting a book deal is not
taking yours away. Success is not as finite as it seems—it’s a matter
of luck, timing, and hard work.

Full article here.

By Yoko Tanji

Thursday, August 16, 2012

a dreamer's wisdom - chuck palahniuk

The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as
you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies
that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile
as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on.

If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way
they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That's the only
lasting thing you can create.

- Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

By Yoko Furusho

from the screen - the words

You have to choose between life and fiction.
The two are very close, but they never actually touch.

- The Words, screenplay by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

illustration - laura siadak

Laura has a talent with the eerie creatures approaching from shadowed forests
and overgrown tree groves and murky lakes.  Any of these would inspire its own
fantastically touching tale of nature, love, and truth.

Nothing is more real than fiction.  Nothing helps us make sense of the real world
more than fiction. Nothing instills in us empathy for others like fiction. As David
Foster Wallace said, “Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.”  
- via Greg Zimmerman at BookRiot

the well written - alan moore

I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one. An inch.
It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having.
we must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them
take it from us.

- Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

By Ann (dev art)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

on reading - tahereh mafi

I spent my life folded between the pages of books.  In the absence of human
relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through
stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world
is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts
and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by
sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.

- Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

By Rosaria Battiloro

illustration - beatriz martin vidal

I've already posted about Beatriz, and I'm going to again because her work
is so packed with stories just asking to be told in words.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
- Pablo Picasso

Monday, August 13, 2012

the well written - f. scott fitzgerald

She was dazzling - alight; it was agony to comprehend
her beauty in a glance.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful And Damned

By Felicia Olin

Sunday, August 12, 2012

from unexpected places - cartier collections

One piece in each of these photos is actually a Cartier Jeweler creation.
And any could offer up a story...  Is one a robot among the real?
A witch's magicked pet?  A princess' pin breathed to life?
A self-aware museum artifact wishing to be like all the other flowers?

Via Trendland

on writing - kurt vonnegut

These are Vonnegut's tips for writing short stories, though I think they
 could apply to all types of fiction writing as well.

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not
feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or
advance action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading
characters, make awful things happen to them—that the reader may see
what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love
to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible.
To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding
of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story
themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Via Huffington Post

By Kai Carpenter

Friday, August 10, 2012

the well written - kurt vonnegut

Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't born dead. I never met a man who was less
interested in the living. Sometimes I think that's the trouble with the world:
too many people in high places who are stone-cold dead.

- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

By Daniel Grzeszkiewicz

from unexpected places - flower guides

If you're ever writing a forest scene, or about a garden, a fairy with purple flowers
in her hair, a forlorn bride picking apart her bouquet, or a retelling of the Narcissus
legend and you need a dose of visual inspiration, stop by weddingchicks to see
their flower guides, organized by color.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

a dreamer's wisdom - nike

An amazing commercial from Nike - Find Your Greatness.
Somehow we've come to believe that greatness is a gift given to a chosen few.
For prodigies, for superstars, and the rest of us can only stand by watching.
You can forget that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

illustration - ashley mackenzie

Ashley often gets inspiration from simple things like song lyrics, moments
of exhilaration or pressure or sorrow, and as these pass through her mind,
they churn and twist and come out the other side as illustrations of fantasy.
Interpret as you will, she says.