Showing posts with label Definitions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Definitions. Show all posts

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Art and Responsibility - How Immoral Is Art Allowed to Be?

Moral education is one of the reasons - if not the main reason - why art even exists.

Morality and responsibility ... Let's be honest, art is known for both entertaining its audience with violence as well as for moral education. While there's a long tradition of showing war and battles in heroic light there is also another tradition with artists like the painter Vasily Vereshchagin who aimed to show the horrors of war in order to promote peace.

At the same time there's also law. For example, here in Germany those who describe violence as beautiful, romantic or otherwise positive and/or harmless can be sentenced to financial penalty or even go to prison for a year. Most countries in the world have similar laws. Being a moderator of (, a German mass archive for fanfiction, prose and poetry, it's my task to lock stories that violate the German law and the rules of the website, for example by plagiarizing, downplaying rape or uploading pornographic texts. What's interesting about this is that many immature "writers" who obviously don't care about the rules or even the laws of the country they live in consider it an insolent restriction of their freedom. They say we're just power-mad and enjoy suppressing them, and our admin was even labelled as a dictator. And no, it isn't a joke.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What is a Narrator? - Why Narration Is Manipulation (or Not)

Every narrator is a liar.

Does the title sound like a stupid question to you? After all, a narrator is the one who narrates. And according to the modern "show, don't tell" fashion the narrator should be as invisible as possible. - Why? Because, as avid supporters of the "show, don't tell" philosophy seem to believe, the modern reader is too stupid to deal with the specifics of prose, since they're so different from what he's used to from movies.

Please don't get me wrong: I'm not against "show, don't tell" in general. Moreover, often this is what I wish beginners would do. In many cases the advice "show, don't tell" is appropriate. - But! A novel is not a movie. There are things it can't do while a movie can. And there are many things it can do while a movie can't.

As stated in a former post, the main difference between prose and other narrative art genres is the existence of a narrator. So what's so special about him?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Are Artists Unhappy People?

Unhappiness seems to be an artist's constant companion.

I stumbled over this question when browsing my idea list for this blog and decided ... Well, this is a question that keeps haunting me, so I decided it's about time to answer it.

The reason why I keep asking myself this question is simple: Whenever I read an artist's biography I always note that he or she had a pretty difficult life - if not for political or social reasons it were depression, a sickness, an addiction ... Or everything at once. I also note that people who seem content with their life and society often aren't very creative, just as if they don't feel the need for that. - Well, no, there is creativity in them, but it seems more practical: decorating their home, baking cookies ... No great, revolutionary stuff, if you know what I mean.

Last but not least, there's myself, the person I know best and watch all the time. Fighting suicidal thoughts since my teenage years, I wouldn't describe myself as a happy person. And as a matter of fact, I do feel a connection between my general unhappiness and my writing.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Self-Insert Out of Control, or The Creepiest Writing Experience Ever

Valley does what she wants. That's what she's like in the story, and that's how she behaves towards me.

Fanfiction wouldn't let me go. While I write novel-length fanfictions my original works somehow always turn out to be short stories. I've even managed to turn ideas for original novels into short stories. Don't ask me how I did that. One of my readers said about one of them that it seemed like a trailer. ... Well, I don't know. Maybe one day I'll actually make a novel out of my Log Out short story. Maybe. ;)

For now I'm cursed with fanfiction. In 2013 I actually planned to start writing an original novel, yet ... I came across Assassin's Creed III and its Protagonist Connor Kenway and I didn't have another choice than to write a fanfiction in order to release that squealing fangirl inside of me, so she'd let me alone. I still made the best out of the situation by writing that fanfic in English and thus improving my language skill.

And I also made an interesting experience with a self-insert character who started to make autonomous decisions.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Idealism vs. Realism in Art - Why Characters in Art Usually Are Too Pretty to Be Real

Throughout all of human history we see more idealizing artworks than those showing reality.

There's a question I frequently end up asking myself: Why do people usually create young and healthy characters? Why are at least the main characters almost always good-looking? Why are scars or any other injuries more decorative rather than ... serious?

This isn't a question which is only about modern days. Throughout all of human history we see more idealizing artworks than those showing reality. There's Napoleon's nose on Bonaparte at the Pont d’Arcole that is too straight to be Napoleon's actual nose (just compare it to other portraits). There are all those Greek and Roman statues showing perfect bodies. And today we have photoshopped models and anime girls with thigh gaps that are only possible if you have an extremely dangerous combination of anorexia and a deformed pelvis.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Art vs. Entertainment - Are Let's Plays an Art Form?

To make a truly interesting Let's Play isn't that easy.

As you may have noticed, I have a very broad definition of art. For me, art includes not only the classical forms like painting, sculpting, writing, music and so on, but also such things as cooking. With this in mind, it shouldn't be a surprise that for me it's only natural to consider video games an art form.

However, there is a phenomenon that is connected to games, but still is a different genre: Let's Plays, the scourge of YouTube. For those of you who don't know that it is: A Let's Play is a series of videos that shows someone playing and commenting a game. No more, no less. And believe it or not, they're highly popular. Many - if not most - successful YouTubers make Let's Plays.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rules vs. Artistic Freedom - Why Perfection Is Boring

The only rule in art is that there are no rules.

If you ever joined an artist community you surely came across people crusading for the one and only true faith in the world of art: rules. People who criticize those who dare to disobey conventions, those who don't do what they consider "good" art. And maybe you're even one of these people. Maybe you're extremely annoyed by all these kids who justify their obvious mistakes with "artistic freedom". Hell, I've even seen amateur writers defending their spelling mistakes with this argument!

So how many rules are necessary and how much freedom is allowed?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What is Talent? - Why You're Not Automatically Talented If You're Gifted

Most important about art is enjoying it.

Writing my post on originality and coming up with the idea that knowledge might be more important for creating art than talent made me see the necessity of a definition of talent.

So what is it? - This question gets even more interesting as many great artists insist that they don't have much talent and that they acquired their skill through a lot of hard work. At the same time, there are lots of people who are called talented in their childhood, who can do something amazingly and still don't become professionals.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What is Narration? - The Main Difference between Prose and Other Narrative Art Forms

There is much media that is narrative, but only prose has a narrator.

There are many art forms out there, and some of them have one thing in common: They tell a story. - Yet isn't narration inseparable from prose? What about stories that are filmed, drawn or carved in stone? What about Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture?

Can other art forms than prose have narration? The answer is: yes and no.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Is Originality? - Why Talent Alone Isn't Enough for Being an Artist

Originality is nothing more than a new combination of already known material.

Let's start this blog with something really basic: Usually what is expected from art is originality. Something unique. And to create something unique is actually really hard, or otherwise I don't know why I often have the impression that most artworks are basically all the same. Let's be honest: We all plagiarize from each other - this is just the truth about how learning from each other works.

Be it motifs, techniques or ideas that inspire us ... Whatever we create is made of things we've seen earlier. There's always something that gave an artist his ingenious thought, since no idea plops out of nowhere. Sometimes it may feel this way, but when looking closely one can see that it's just a combination of what the artist already knows.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Philosophy of Art Is Born! - Climbing the Mountain Called Art

What is art? - Seeking an answer covered in fog ...

What is art? I've never read a definition I could accept without any objections. The problem is that depending on how narrow or wide the definition is it's something different. You can't really compare the writing of a novel to acting a scene someone else has written. It isn't unproblematic to compare free expression of the artist's feelings to commissioned artworks. What about disciplines that aren't considered art traditionally but require lots of creativity nonetheless? You have also to take into account that in different cultures and epochs art is defined differently.

However, I was surprised to find out that I liked the suggestions I got when I typed "art is" into the search field of Google more than the academic definitions, which is why I'd like to share them here: