Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Look Back

Hello to everyone reading this!

Year 2015 is close to its end, and since I don't think I'll have much free time during the holidays to work on my blog this is my last post before 2016. And this post, well, it isn't an essay but a collection of all the posts published this year. I thought it would be nice to look back at what I have been thinking about in 2015 - now as well as many years later when dwelling in nostalgia. ;) So I hope you don't mind my laziness.

Before I'm going to list all the essays I have an important announcement: I'm extremely busy lately, so I'm afraid I just can't continue uploading a new post every week. This blog isn't just a diary but a collection of essays most of which require research and thought, which are very time-consuming. For this reason I decided to slow down a little and to upload only every second Thursday - twice a month. So if there's anyone out there actually following this blog: I hope you're not too disappointed.

The next post will be uploaded on January 7th in 2016. Since we probably won't "see" each other until then I'd like to take the opportunity and wish you a happy new year! Have fun and merry holidays!

Sincerely yours,
Feael Silmarien

Originality is nothing more than a new combination of already known material. This is why I believe that you can't be a good artist if you know nothing of the world. If you're not curious and don't do any research. Maybe knowledge is even far more valuable than actual talent: An artist can have all the talents in the world - but if he knows only pink, plush and rabbits he'll never create anything more original than pink plush rabbits. So the ability to have original ideas depends on the knowledge of the artist.

Narration in a broader sense is the description of a change of state. Narration in a narrower sense is the description of a change of state through a narrator. While movies, visual novels and so on can have a narrative without a narrator a written story can't: If you want something narrated with words, you need a narrator to produce these words. He is what makes a prose text what it is, and so he's much more important than all the characters, the plot and everything else, because he's the connection between the author and the reader - he's what holds the whole narration together. So choose your narrator wisely: A messed up narrator can mess up a per se great story while a good narrator can make a boring plot highly entertaining.

How an artist handles feedback depends very much on his attitude towards the artwork in question, and even positive feedback can be depressing sometimes. Yet in any case, since writing requires much time end effort, the author wants to be "rewarded" with constant attention. However, the yearning for feedback isn't only the yearning for recognition but also the wish to improve.

Characters with many fangirls make an artwork more popular, so I think I should know how to manipulate my female readers into nosebleeding and drooling over some of my characters. Which isn't easy, because making a male character attractive to a female audience isn't about mere looks.

There are a lot of great artists, talented people who do amazing work but fail at getting it out there for years. Seeing this is really sad, and I believe that in an ideal world every creative person would have a personal PR agent. Yet in the world we live in now shyness and modesty are very likely to become the death of an artist's career.

There are very talented as well as very untalented people out there. However, I believe that the majority can learn to make great art. Art is an idea put into action, and talent is the mastermind behind it. Skill acquired through practice is the tool. Joy is the motivation. But remember: Talent needs to be developed.

The only rule in art is that there are no rules. Blow the limits in your mind and be creative! Following "rules" too strictly deprives an artwork of "personality", and perfection is creepy, because it feels like it's produced by a machine. Furthermore, when an artwork follows all the rules it becomes predictable. And predictable is boring.

A creative block is nothing else than procrastination. So in order to overcome it you have to treat it as what it is:
Step 1: Go to wherever you usually work.
Step 2: Get started.

In narratology we speak of a metalepsis when one narrative level enters another one: During the second half of The Hunger Games a metalepsis turns us into Capitol citizens. And ... Are the Hunger Games a metaphor for the real world?

Let's Plays are easy to make and yet more popular than videos that are supposed to be art in a classical sense. However, making a truly interesting Let's Play isn't that easy: This genre reminds me a bit of artistic improvisation, and I believe that the state when the process of making art is one flow, the state of "inspiration", is a state of improvisation. Good Let's Plays are, in a way, a spontaneous acting performance.

Throughout all of human history we see more idealizing artworks rather than those showing reality, and so the question whether art should show ideals or reality is a very old one. While realism may be a very effective tool for social change, from an aesthetical point of view it's usually understood as something lacking the process of creation. Moreover, idealism is more appealing to the masses than realism.

Many great novels have self-inserts in them, and they can be a clever, funny and highly interesting tool, if handled properly. Yet what happens if a self-insert starts developing a will of his own just like any other character? By analyzing my self-insert's psyche I kind of analyze my own: Art is self-analysis and self-inserts are meant to tell us something important about ourselves.

Here we are, all the 12 essays are listed here. Which one did you like most? Which one least? Do you have any comments on this blog in general? Please don't hesitate to leave some criticism!

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