Thursday, October 14, 2010

On finding one's voice, part the first

Screenshot here is from one of my Sims2 photoshoots. Sims are very compliant models (especially if I turn free will off) and spending a few hours setting up a shoot and taking pictures lets ideas mull about in the story part of my brain. Sometimes I'll have something in mind when I start a shoot, sometimes not.

This particular shoot starred Jacqueline, my favorite model and one of my own sculpts, and her husband, Matthew (not pictured, but he's somebody else's design, though I've customized him.) I stage the shoots to get images to use in my art, both digital and otherwise.

Current art crush is mixed media artist Michelle Ward. Her most recent blog entry on scented candles made me nearly weep with recognition. For me, this is a good thing; I'm a dramatic sort of wench. The photos included are gorgeous, and, like Michelle, I use scent association to keep my mind on task when I'm in the office. Since autumn is now in full swing, time for me to lay in some appropriate scents. Anything with cinnamon, pumpkin or cloves is automatically good, and if the candle is named anything like "fireside," I need it. Summertime is not my season, and with the changing of the leaves, I get my superpowers back.

I do my best work in the cooler months, pounding keys and scribbling my way through prettified legal pads (current one coordinates with these) with hands encased in hand-knit mitts and listening to equally ornate music; current choices can include Meat Loaf, James Blunt, Coldplay, etc. I do tend towards male singers when I choose favorite music, though Mary Chapin Carpenter has some wonderful stuff as well. With my office assistant, Miss Skye O'Malley, (who is a kitteh) positioning herself in exactly the right spot for my hand to dip down at random intervals and scritch behind her ear or under her chin, that's a perfect setup.

Over the past week, I've been digging deep into what comprises an author's voice, inspired by listening to a workshop CD by Barbara Samuels. Her worksheet for that is on her site, and can be found here. Lots of great questions on the worksheet, and I will be posting a few of my answers to those later on. The most important thing I've learned from this so far is that our voice is made up of everything we have been, seen, done, experienced, wanted, whatevered. Surrounding myself with what I am intrinsically drawn to isn't being self indulgent; it's a smart investment in honing my voice and since my voice is the only one I can write with, keeping it honed is essential.

Trends come, trends go. Nobody can please everybody, but apple trees can only grow apples and I believe there's a bumper crop coming in this year.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Anna. Your voice is unique and, therefor, the best investment you can make. Thanks also for the wonderful links. Will check them out!

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...

Thanks, Kimberly. I do apologize in advance for the stationery lust that may be engaged by Pa Pa Ya products. They have spoiled me for regular legal pads forever.