Friday, May 15, 2009

Artistic Life in the Trenches...

Happy Friday, all! Yes, I do keep meaning to blog more often (and will acheive that goal one day!) but for now, it's doing good at 2x/week. And the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it's beautiful outdoors and I'm like a cat scrambling to get out there myself.

Today's topic...artistic life in the trenches. Whether you're a writer, painter, photographer, filmmaker, musician, etc. - - it helps to have a support system. I've been fortunate to be part of several writers groups in my area, but I think it helps to go beyond our comfort zone. If you're a writer, try to meet some photographers, painters, musicians, filmmakers.

Artists are everywhere. We just have to look for them. Several times per week, I go to a nearby cafe for lunch to write. It's about 5 minutes from work and the tables/lighting/setup are conducive to writing away without too much hubbub all around. Since my face has become familiar, the staff asks me what I'm writing on, what I write, etc. (I use an Alphasmart Dana - best thing in the world!) One waiter there is a musician and it's wonderful to hear how his music is coming along when I see him. He keeps me in good Diet Coke supply and wishes me luck on my writing. These are more than simple exchanges; they keep us going and let us know that we're not alone.

This helps when the bullets start whizzing over our heads or crises occur. Knowing there are other artists in the trenches too is not only comforting; it's one of the best gifts I can imagine.

I've been incredibly fortunate to have encountered artists in a variety of fields. A filmmaker is able to help me see things in a visual way, how certain ways of editing a film can quicken the pace or heighten the tension in scenes. My current manuscript has some filmic pieces, and having another type of artist's feedback besides a writer is helpful. Same thing goes for painting. Knowing someone who paints on a regular basis helps me understand how they approach their art. I find value in this as a human being and as a writer.

Artistic life in the trenches gets to the best of us, but remember--we're not alone.

Now, go write your little hearts out!



Willena said...

As one down here in the trenches with you, I thank you for being one who always encourages me.

I wish that there were actual organizations that encouraged visual artists to mingle with writers and filmmakers, etc. We all seem to stick to our own tribes.

We should start a revolution.

The Writers Canvas said...

I agree!! It'd be incredibly helpful for artists of all kinds.
Thanks for commenting!