sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
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.
sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
Here is my response for 12/4 for this meme. The prompt is from [personal profile] cassiopeia7, who asked me "How and when did your love of space start?"

I have very, very vague memories of seeing broadcsts of (I think) Apollo 15 and being told by my cousin that "that man is walking on the moon." I was young enough that the rarity of it didn't sink in - all that I knew was that this was a thing you could do, and it was neat.

My love of space grew with my love of all things science and nature as a child. I loved, loved, loved going to the science museum/planetarium and seeing the films about the solar system and the stars. I read this book nearly to pieces (and I still have my copy!).

A love of science fiction (Star Trek, then Star Wars) cemented my interest in space, I think. The thought of going "out there" and seeing more just seemed like a natural part of my life. I couldn't understand not being interested. Then, the Voyager missions happened. And the Cosmos miniseries. I would read articles in Omni, Scientific American, etc.

I hate to say it, but school nearly killed my interest in hard science. I got it into my head that I was "bad at math" (not true, long story) and went in to the humanities instead. I did take basic astronomy as an elective in college, though. My interest has never really waned, although my personal studies into astrophysics and cosmology have picked up again big time in the past couple of years (along with readings on things like string theory and particle physics). Sometimes I have to wonder what might have been...
sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
Here is my response for 12/1 for this meme. The prompt is from [personal profile] cassiopeia7, who asked me "What is your absolute favorite art tool, the one thing you cannot live without?"

Read more... )
sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
Here is my response for 12/1 for this meme. The prompt is from [personal profile] aishuu, who asked me about three things I refuse to do again.

Thing one: Ride a horse. I used to take riding lessons a lot when I was younger, and was pushed into doing more and more as my parents got more and more into riding. I suppose I could have said "no more," or "can we slow this down a bit," but what child is going to say "no" to riding a horse? Well, after being stepped on, kicked, scraped off, nearly rolled over on and run away with, I was done. I adore horses, but have no desire to be on the back of one ever again. FYI, Sam's horse-related trauma in Fightin' Words is largely based upon my own experience. As they say, write what you know...

Thing two: Go skiiing. I love being active, don't get me wrong. What I don't love is being cold. Or cold and wet. Or cold and wet and bruised. Or cold and wet and bruised and having a knee that bends in a fun new direction. What I also don't love (see above, re. horses) is being physically out of control when it comes to high speed/change in altitude. I LOVE roller coasters, but part of that is that their speed and plummetting is pre-determined. Skiiing, not so much. Add the cold factor into that, and you've got sure-fire recipe for things I don't long.

Thing three: Go camping. The way I look at it, our ancestors spent tens of thousands of years so we could sleep away from cold, damp, insects, and the hard, hard ground. I choose not to dishonor their sacrifice.

Seriously, though, I used to enjoy camping to a degree, and I have no trouble getting comfortable in a day camp or roughing it in a cabin or similar. I also don't mind getting absolutely filthy doing something outdoorsy. But at my age, I like my creature comforts when day is done. I don't need luxury, but I like being dry, I like being warm, and I like my back not feeling like someone tried to play Jenga with my vertebrae.
sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
I've seen this a few places on my flist, and I thought it would be good to help get me writing again.

Pick a date below and give me a topic — it can be anything, from fandom related to life related to art related to whatever you want.

They will probably be brief, or not, depending on the subject.

Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don’t feel equipped to meet.

Topics: you can get an idea from my tags/from the stuff I usually ramble about/from things you maybe wish I talked about more but don’t.

You can request multiple topics (as long as they’re on different days — one topic per day!).

December 01 - (aishuu) 3 things I refuse to do again
December 02 -
December 03 - (cassiopeia7) What is your absolute favorite art tool, the one thing you cannot live without?
December 04 - (cassiopeia7) How and when did your love of space start?
December 05 -
December 06 - (etrix) "The Day That Will Live in Infamy" How does world history influence you and/or your art?
December 07 -
December 08 -
December 09 - (amy37) What is one thing you would love to learn to do?
December 10 -
December 11 -
December 12 - (denugis) Pick a piece of your art that you are proud of and say a bit about its inspiration or your process for that piece or just why it's one you especially like.
December 13 -
December 14 -
December 15 -
December 16 -
December 17 -
December 18 -
December 19 -
December 20 - cancelled due to simultaneous claims for 12/21
December 21a - (cupcake_goth) comfort reads
December 21b - (aishuu) Winter Solstice
December 22 -
December 23 -
December 24 -
December 25 - (aishuu) Fancypant's First Christmas (and nonrelated holiday stories)
December 26 -
December 27 -
December 28 -
December 29 -
December 30 -
December 31 - (etrix) "Looking for a Brand New Year" How do you reflect your personal history and hopes for the future in your art?
sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
Stolen from [personal profile] cofax7

If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.
— Alfred Hitchcock

When I write a story, what do you immediately look for?
sophiap: votive candle and small, round stones on a slate ground (Default)
I'm stealing this idea from [personal profile] holli:

Name a character, and I'll tell you five true things about him/her/it:

Fandoms include: Avatar: the Last Airbender, Bleach, BtVS/Angel, Discworld, Doctor Who, Firefly, Hunger Games trilogy, Narnia (bookverse), Neverwhere, Sailor Moon, Sandman, Sherlock (BBC), Supernatural

January 2014

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