Category Archives: Art

Creative Community & The Fear of Becoming “Normal”

Writing is viewed as a solitary activity. Some writers believe their isolation is what defines them, and even imagine that socializing would not only detract from their uniqueness, but diminish their creativity. Mingle with the herd, and you’ll become one of them. Call it the writer’s fear of becoming “normal.”

But these folks have it all wrong. We are social beings who need to interact with others. What’s more, social contact improves our craft, as this piece from PsychCentral explains:

As creative people, we need others to see the work we do (after all art is meant to be seen), to give us feedback and also to normalize some of the chaos that comes with the creative territory.

Aside from these internal benefits, being a part of a community of creatives can also expand your audience reach, increase the chances of doing collaborative work (in which you can discover a brand new part of yourself and a new method to create) and extend your creative network. A community can give you the opportunity to experience art and creativity from the various perspectives of all the other people surrounding you, at a collective level rather than the individual one you can provide for yourself.

I know I’ve benefited from my participation in the Charlotte Writer’s Club and my monthly critique group, as well as various writing workshops. Even when you’re stuck in the office, you can exchange views and ideas by posting comments on writing blogs.

Naturally, we also need time alone to think and create. The ideal is a balance of separateness and socialization.

Andrew Nelson Lytle advised us to “throw out the radio and take down the fiddle from the wall.” By that, he meant that art, entertainment, and companionship were not meant to be separate things. Art should be a social, interactive endeavor that not only engages everyone who  participates, but beckons all toward beauty and a sense of connectedness.  To me, that’s the ultimate aim of any art.

Contemporary Literary Art

Raven King

Annette Hassell “John Uskglass the Raven King”
click to enlarge

Today’s  Remodern Review blog features a post on an exhibit of the works of Phoenix-area Remodernist painters. The exhibit’s theme is “works inspired by favorite books.” These paintings revive the artist’s role as a visual storyteller. Unlike post-modern painters, Remodernists reject the nihilism that an inaccessible elite insists is the proper focus of the “true artist.” Instead, Remodernists seek to recapture art’s primary purpose of stirring the imagination of the general public and inspiring an appreciation of classic ideals of nobility, courage, and beauty.

Quote of the day

“Art has been marginalized in our culture by the mismanagement practiced on it by elites. In doing so, they have blocked access to powerful resources – denying our society the inspiration to live up to ideals, the encouragement to think and feel deeply, the yearning to harmonize with truth and beauty. As a result the mass audience has turned away, instinctually rejecting the superficial and nihilistic aspects of contemporary art championed by an imperious would-be ruling class.” The Remodern Review