sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
[personal profile] sophiap
Sorry this is a day late! I ended up crashing about two hours earlier than usual last night.

Anyhow, the question for today yesterday is: "How does world history influence you and/or your art?"

Well, the first part of that question is one that could take pages and pages to answer, or could be summed up simply. In this case, I'll elect to keep it simple. To wit, when I look at various events in world history - especially when it comes to the way that people treated (more often mistreated) other people - I wonder, "how would people judge me ten, fifty, a hundred years from now?"

It's easy to look at news reports of groups of angry people waving signs and make assumptions about how they'll be compared to other groups of angry people waving signs forty or fifty years ago. It's a little harder, cognitively and emotionally, to think of myself. It's relatively easy to pinpoint the biases, unconscious cruelty, etc. of my Victorian or 1950's counterparts, but to pinpoint my own? Not so easy. But when I do pinpoint something, I find it has an interesting effect beyond prompting change in my own life. I find it increases my empathy, both for those who came before me and for those who are around me now.

Well, that went longer than expected... now on to the second part, and how history influences my art.

When it comes to visual art, I've only been back in that particular sandbox for about two years after a long, long hiatus from doing anything besides doodling during meetings. So, I'm still figuring that out to some degree - if you go back and look at the sort of stuff I've been posting, my style jumps around all over the place. That being said, I can see where some of my thinking has been influenced by my studies in medieval and early Renaissance art in terms of how I get my art to tell the kind of story I want it to tell. It's not just the subject matter - it's the composition, the color, the context, etc. This is something that I will continue to think about as I continue to draw and paint.

The answer's a little easier when it comes to my writing. Most of what I do is set fairly contemporary, but I also love to write stuff set in the latter half of the 20th century. What I love to try to do is get across an immersive sense of what it was like to be there at that time, with the history, slang, accoutrements, etc. (hopefully) settling naturally into the background and pulling the reader into the experience rather than providing the distancing effect of a "period piece." Am I successful at this? Not always, but there are a couple of stories (Homing, Apocrypha) where I feel like I nailed it.

If you want to ask me a question, there are still plenty of open slots - feel free to sign up here.
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sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
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