Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Life is in the Details.

Life is in the details.
How many times have we all heard this?
Twice if you've only read it from me in this post, or countless times throughout your life.

The truth of this statement has made it almost a universally accepted fact.
Life without acknowledging the details through observation and documentation would be pointless.
What would me life as an artist, a writer and a designer be with out the details?
What would your life be without the details? 
Peoples emotions, reactions and expressions are unique to the individual, but collectively connected.
Joy couldn't exist without disappointments.
Extasy, pure bliss, wouldn't exist without pain.
To understand love is to understand heartache.
Sympathy is good, but empathy is better.
Past a person's exterior is where the details live and breathe.

As an Artist
When drawing, the first impression of visual dimensions needs to be captured. But unless the character, the personality of a landscape or person is observed and understood, it will remain a lifeless piece of art on a page or canvas. Put emotion in the face or the appearance of wind. One can't physically draw either element, but the effects should show. Like the tear on this face.

Why is the girl crying? What happened or what is happening?  Does one tear define crying or sadness?

Capturing interest through visual questions is the work of an artist, but the written explanation is for a writer.

As a Writer
When writing, look past the stereotypes.
Yes, they exist for a reason, because it is a true generalization.
People aren't stereotypes, so individuals are what the characters in your book should be.
The details which define a character or place should be believable even if it is a made up setting.
The only way an author can gain that knowledge is through observing life and writing from it. Recording it from your perspective; from your character's.  
For example: 
The sunset in the same canyon Autumn had tumbled down about six months ago was even more radiant than she remembered. It burned with a billion watts of light that had never been captured in her photographs.

I’m so glad I was able to avoid all those graduation parties. Being politely social was not in her capacity at the moment.

All she really felt like doing was clamming up. “I let my guard down in an attempt to make friends and look at what it got me.”

Swinging her feet over the ridge, Autumn pulled a folded picture out of her back pocket. This is silly. She thought as she stared at Craig’s face, but the untold desires of her heart couldn’t be ignored.

Maybe If I tell him my secret he’ll confide in me too. She closed her eyes and shook her head while placing his picture on the ground and securing it with a rock.

She wasn’t ready to deal with it―with Him. Telling Craig might gain his friendship and trust, but she feared she would lose her sanity in the process; that all the darkness that was dwelling inside of her would be overwhelming and make her forget who she was.

“No. I have to let this go.”

Walking away from the ridge, away from the photo of Craig, Autumn felt an empty space in her chest growing larger with every step she took. The wind blew her hair across her face and a pained smile was accompanied by a single tear on her check.

Final excerpt from Left on the Edge (copyright 2012 to Sarah Richards)
As a Designer
When designing, whether it is in fashion, interior or graphic, listening to the client is essential.
Not just to what they are saying with their mouth, but to what can't be articulated.
The details, spoken and unspoken, are where satisfaction or dissatisfaction from the job can found.
For example:
I have spent most of my professional career working as a wedding stationery designer. I had to listen to not only what a bride was saying, but interpret the unspoken meaning.
The invitation is a guests first real look into a wedding. The personality of the couple must be present in the wording and the style in order to remain in business.
The satisfaction of one client will ensure another one or more; while the dissatisfaction of one can mean the end of a company.

My life as an artist, writer and designer would have no meaning without details.
It is the details I observe, record and work from that give my work depth.
Through this can come meaning.
Not just for me; like a chameleon it can change to apply to anyone who looks at it, or reads it.

To achieve this, I am constantly looking and appreciating the details which define life.
The good, as well as the bad.
Not just in others, but in myself as well. 
This is how one can improve themselves and their craft.

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