When Artists Converse
Part 1: When Artists Converse: The Role of Internal Visualization in the Writing Process
Special Thanks to @Robert-Copla
I recently shared a post I saw from an exceptional artist here on Ello @RobertCopla whose work lead me to leave him the following comment:
“You have a very dynamic style of depiction. It has a visually interactive aspect. From a distance or upon first glance, one senses simplicity but upon enlargement or second glance, one realizes how the elements of the drawing unpack like a Russian Doll. The aforementioned trait makes your pieces uniquely complex and rich within the range of simple is chique and more. Hats off to you. I love the color combinations. They are iris-poppers yet outstandingly elemental in unpacking the elements of the given piece as a whole. The colors and lines scream content and context along concepts of motion and direction as well as mindset. Simply, brilliant!!!”
He replied stating his love for seeing through the eyes of the beholders of his work and asked about the role of internal visualizations in my writing process. He wanted to know how I see things in my mind and if they seem like real life or patterns in motion.
Naturally, this is what I came up with:
True artists are the ones to crave seeing through the eyes of their observers or those who examine their work. A true artist desires to interact with his/her audience because true art engages minds into speaking one language: art. For me, to believe is to perceive how to achieve. If you are an artist or a writer or a musician, you believe in art as the language of beauty jotted in the letters of innovation enunciated in the syllables of passion and vocalized in the tones of creation that echo through the ears of your audience in waves of meaning, not just compliment.
As an impressionist who comes from an abstract school of thought since I come from a legal discipline, I chase concepts that I can personalize or humanize when I write from different aspects or disciplines such as science, law, nature, and philosophy and express them in natural terms.
For instance, I have written 2k+ poems but my favorites are only 2 didactic poems: My Friend the Wind which is a scientific poem about the wind personified as a lass with attitude in style and disposition and Sound of Silence wherein I used sound’s scientific elements to explain silence from a psychological and situational aspect when translated into circumstance and mundane problems.
I don’t believe in writing plain feelings. Poetry and writing should have a message that is framed in a methodological thinking approach that also exhibits a lofty yet suave style in expression and conveyance of thought. Many times my ideas come from simple natural phenomena or movements or even daily activities, but they intertwine with current events in the vastest sense of human intellect, conviction, and psychological processing as well as decision making styles that reflect values, personality, and perspective.
As for how I see or visualize a poem, it depends on my reason to write the piece and the circumstances that surrounded its formulation. I have mastered many different styles of writing, but the truth is, mastery of technique has nothing to do with motion in writing or visualization in writing. Motion in writing is all about tones and the dynamics of thought when it jumps from a line to the mind of the reader to strike his heart and memory. Visualization in writing is all about holding your readers’ hearts not his hand and getting him to walk in your shoes or holding his heart to give him the warm embrace of compassion he or she was looking for in the absence of a crying shoulder or an inquisitive caring mind. Ideas about visualization come to me like a free fall. An idea is a leaf carried in the wind ruffled across the distance bumping and dragging other ideas with it. As it draws closer it clusters with other similar leaves along with the dust and rubble. I gather my leaves and put them in nice piles straining them from the rubble. I then arrange my leaves into the shapes I like and use what I like as bookmarks for new ideas between pages I am writing or dry them between pages of old books I wrote to re-tweak old takes and sometimes use them to start new scrapbooks. All the aforementioned imageries are symbolizations of my thinking processes when I am out in nature constraining my observations and convictions to the natural elements that assist me in painting what I want to say. I build my thoughts on concepts I carefully put together after contemplation and research. Then I thread my thoughts like leaves with current sensations and leave them to swing in the winds of passion in the eyes of my readers before they spiral down their minds into their hearts.
When I write, I don’t imagine, I paint. And when I paint, I add music to my words through flow and that combination blows life into my text enough to keep my reader running with me around the table of chase not a plot. They end up following me down the maze of my story or piece. I write to speak for those who can’t and listen to those who don’t have someone to hear them. I write to say what many don’t dare to say or don’t dare to say in the way I say. Writing for interaction and vitality of minds is like tweaking a dish you are cooking by constantly tasting and adjusting spices. No one wants bland or too spicy food, but palates and palettes differ because palates are about aptitude and palettes are about strokes and direction.
Part 2: When Artists Converse: Translating and Transforming visuals Into Language
How do you ‘translate’ and ‘transform’ the visuals into language?
Translating and transforming visuals into language differ for me depending on the piece whether it is a poem or story or an essay.
To begin with, translating a visual into writing includes my multi-ethnic and multi-cultural background mixed with a lot of my personal experiences when going through life. In this sense, you can consider translating visual into words for me, my personal touch to how I choose to personalize an image when compressed into a thought.
Meanwhile, transforming visual into a language when I write, for me depends on my sense of humor and ability to compare, contrast, and relate things. Sometimes my plays on language and antics change the context of the word and thereby the context of the thought when I compress the image into it.
Now to make things even more complicated, I sometimes combine both processes and that results in a hyperactive and multi-tier dynamic text due to its complex dimensions in terms of meaning.
Here’s a little play on words when I combine.
Politics for me stinks and so do bathrooms but they do involve depositing turd into a chair or unto a chair.
In effect, there are instances, I decide to use the following phrase “Going to vote” interchangeably depending on the text am writing.
1- as in literally going to get a politician in his chair by voting
2- Going for nature’s call
3- Actually going for nature’s call is not different from voting
When writing poems, my usage of translation and transformation of visualization will usually depend on two things :
1 the theme of the poem and 2 the style/genre of the poem.
1 Poem’s Theme:
If the theme is emotional, then I usually rely on the transformative sense but if it’s a political or psychological or appreciative or speculative theme, it’s usually the translative sense.
2 style or genre of the poem:
Usually, acrostic or shadow acrostic and freestyle allow for the translative sense and sometimes a combination. However, sonnets, cinquains, rondeau, and other syllable constrained styles require that we choose mainly transformative and maybe in the closing translative.
When writing essays or stories, the interchange is not in choosing which of translative or transformative sense to stick with but rather on how much of this vs of that. In stories I noticed, I tend to use the translative for the state of mind of the characters and the transformative for the outer appearance and the circumstances or settings of the story. However, in essays, it’s usually a combination.
Part 3: When Artists Converse: Connecting Minds To Connect Forms Of Expression in Art Via Unfolding Visuals And Mind Patterns
Special Thanks to @Robert-Copla
In the previous pieces, we discussed an artist’s natural curiosity about seeing through the eyes of their works’ beholder to get hold of their audience’s minds. In this piece, I will continue this journey only this time to behold how artists observe each other through their work.
When artists converse expression proves to be a universe that’s so diverse. Art as the pantheon of human expression is a galaxy where schools of thought are planets orbiting themselves while they orbit creativity’s sun. Along the way and from a distance, these creative planets cluster themselves as suns, moons, stars, and planets of thought steadying their course without colliding into each other yet setting an order between themselves.
Accordingly, the system of thoughts that makes up the matrix of orbits that circumscribe creativity form alignments that connect these planets of thought as planets that acquire light from suns or moons that reflect light in the night. And when a moment is perfect, they sometimes align themselves to eclipse one another to express phenomena where two planets seem to merge visually making time and distance standstill burning irises that perceive them with majesty and allure. And such are the minds of artists when they converse and connect forms of expression.
To explain my thought further, I will explain my first encounter with poetry as a student. I grew up in a house where politics and poetry were discussed at the table like all mundane events within the category of ordinary happenings. But when I went to school in grade four, I met this amazing teacher who took reading and understanding poetry to another level.
She said poetry is seeing what you hear and touching what you understand and living what you internalize from a piece. At first, I couldn’t understand how can someone touch what’s flat on a paper and remains constrained within the paper until someone reads it aloud to you or you read it aloud to your mind not just your ears. For that particular life-changing exercise, she brought us two things: a portrait of fall in oil colors from a Lebanese artist accompanied by a poem about fall.
She then asked us to look at the portrait and tell her what we see and what it means to us in terms of memories and how we felt looking at it. Then she asked each of us to read the poem with the portrait next to it. At first, we all said what the portrait meant and felt to us. Then we all said what the poem meant and felt to us. Lastly, she asked us to tell her how the two pieces meant and felt when put together.
By the end of the session, she said to us: “Poetry is painting moments and feelings and thoughts without a brush. Poetry is a form of art and expression that conveys an interactive experience wherein the poet shares his/hers and you internalize it depending on yours. From that day, I realized that the connection between art and artists and artists with other artists happens on a two-fold level:
(1) unfolding visuals and
(2) unfolding mind patterns to connect thoughts of creativity through the threads of forms of expression.
In the long run, I understood that forms of art differ depending on the forms of expression they use and by that they are all beads of different shapes threaded through thoughts to connect journeys and lives through perspectives and experiences.
In the end we all perceive the world from our very personalized lenses and that explains why understanding the very same concepts differs from one person to another and even differs much further when it is passed again from the recipient to the next. As an artist, for your work to leave a mark, it must provide the raw material that must be shaped and condensed through the means you provide for your reader or audience to pass to another.
And though, knowledge is accumulative, and art can be subjective and objective in terms of recipients and topics and forms but in the end, visuals that unfold mind patterns are the determinants of why some pieces are timeless in the sense of content, form, and meaning.
My observation is that art is a means and a need when it comes to its function as a method for achieving a connection between humans. It helps people understand others and the world around them while enjoying the benefit of being perceived and understood. Art that has no observers or art that has no interaction is beauty that can’t charm, and such is a real tragedy in the pantheon of creativity.
I hope this part thoroughly explains and justifies to whoever reads it the process of true conversation and connection among artists and writers along the paths of creativity to preserve art as the safeguard of human heritage and humanity’s lineage of thought.
Part 4: When Artists Converse: Connecting Minds Through Forms Of Art Through Music And Its Associative Role In Creativity
Special Thanks to @Robert-Copla
In the previous pieces of this treatise, we discussed the importance of artists’ connection and observation as a two-way traffic learning curve. Today we will be exploring the influence of music as an associative form of art when it comes to dictating the tempo of dynamics forms of expression that consist of art.
Life is defined in warmth and heartbeat. Music is the warmth and heartbeat that determines the livelihood and vitality of art when it assumes its connective form as a driving force in steering art towards creativity’s scorching core.
Music they say is a universal language understood by the minds and hearts of all humans. But the music itself is the soul that flows in the body of art. In this sense, it’s an associative and collaborative force that puts together pieces of art in full motion to unravel passion and notion in every work of art.
As an embodiment of feelings and a manifestation of values and cultures, it bombards the senses with richness and texture. Music in this sense gives art in its forms especially writing its flow and elevations of meaning that drizzle off our tongues unto our minds like honey dripping from tips of glaciers to the bottoms of caverns. It provides the ambiance and the fireworks, the direction, and the sequence of action in plots for writers and themes for painters.
In short, music is the atmosphere that can match time that is the unit that measures art’s longevity and durability in the battlefields of nativity and oblivion. It is the essence of time quantified as cultural aspects edified in the brush strokes and palettes of artists and scribbles and lines of writers.
For me, music affects the tone and tempo of my visualizations and thereby the pace of my story and the mood of my themes. For many artists it is the fertile soil for concepts and ideas to contrast with themes and values in a given era.
I see music as the personalizing spice that befits my texts unto the taste buds of my readers’ palates. I see music as the calibrator of the dubs of artists’ brushes when they paint their portraits.
When I write I sway to the music and flow to its rhythms and it affects the way I transcend my thoughts and observations in a way that gives away the inner me and its feelings to my readers until my experience extends to my readers.
Whether you listen to classical, flamenco, reggae, trance, house, underground, rock, goth, opera, rap, hip-hop or pop and do excuse me if I forgot to mention others- your art will reflect in a way or another your taste and your interaction with music.
Whether you listen to music while you compose or paint or dance or sculpt, or afterwards or before that, music remains in your senses to sharpen them and heighten them and let them fall like falsettos descending from soprano notes on a music sheet to indicate the beginning or the end or the expansion of a note.
In the end, we are all mirrors that come in different shapes but we are mirrors that let you look within not at to take in and reflect all that come by to compare and compose. Whatever you do, remember, connection is the heart of art and conversation is the dart of art to perfection on the road to creativity.
We are all dim planets orbiting in thought around creativity’s sun-seeking to stand in its rays even for a moment to project our essence into others and warm our existence with others’ interactions as they orbit with us. In the end, we are all connected and we all want to belong and are all afraid of being forgotten and so we rely on art to live longer than our bodily existence.
I hope this series of pieces justify the mental process in creating and procreating art in the minds of readers and artists alike. Thank you for joining me on my journey of mental exploration of the artistic mind in its path to interpretation and expression.
Thank you @RobertCopla for inspiring this piece.
Conversation and interaction between artists or writers and their audience are the true chambers of the heart of creativity in art. If you don’t interact with your audience and your fellow artists you will never find growth. We all learn from each other by observing each other and many times by observing how others observe us through our work.
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