Mific (mific) wrote,

December meme just when you'd given up on me! Writing and Art

Oof - I really fell off the meme wagon there, due to a thundering stampede of fic and art deadlines, but I am almost through all of them, and have a brief window to cach up with a couple of meme posts before the final Losers exchange deadline in early January.

[personal profile] kate asked: Is there a difference in the creative process between writing and art?

Interesting question! Yes, for me, very much so, in several ways.

The differences:
Art -
  • Art's a lot easier for me to do, once I have an idea I want to create. I find it fairly relaxing, and I get caught up, sometimes for hours on end, with happy detailed fiddling, to the detriment of eating, sleep, mild dehydration, other projects and (of course!) RL work.
  • Obviously the creative process is very different, although some of my art does involve text, and my old gouache etc. original art was very cartoon-like and often had titles that were actually captions. So I tend towards the thinky-ideas side in art, as well.
  • My creative process with art is obviously very different as my main technique involves scavenging images and references from everywhere on the net, then collaging them into a coherent whole, with a lot of blending, altering size/shape/orientation of the pasted bits, and painting in details where there wasn't a suitable image, usually based on a reference pic. The pic here is a good example and here's one from SGA/SG1 So I have a clear idea of where I'm heading and I use masses of image references, but generally only a small part of each like a hand from some random photo on the net, a head from elsewhere, the position of limbs from somewhere else- used to draw the same image in my art and get the anatomy right, a coil of metallic tubing from somewhere, a hat from somewhere else, the head of a screw copied and pasted repeatedly into a steampunk image, etc. etc. I use Adobe photoshop's layers for all that - sometimes up to 50 or so of them, although I find that unwieldy so I try to flatten several layers together where I can. Summary - fairly clear idea of the outcome, put together from multiple images and some direct painting, as the method. (ETA: actually, that's just my usual method. I also sometimes do original digital art, usually black drawn outlines coloured. Often I use photoreferences for the the images but only as a guide, not a collage. Wolf Circle Tableau art from TW fandom.)
  • There's an initial researching phase where I trawl for images and slap them into a pic layout roughly, to get an idea of what the finished product will look like. That can be quite energised and is where most of the creative imagining comes in. Once I have the bulk of it, the rest's detail work, which is the most fiddly-yet-relaxing phase for me. Actually, that may be slightly similar to my fic process, sort of.
Fic -
  • Fic, for me, is a lot more taxing. Not sure why, but I procrastinate a lot more about getting started and it's a lot more dependent on me being in a good state and not too tired or stressed. I agonize about getting the words and phrasings right - can't write quick and dirty stuff and then go back later and tidy it all up - impossible for my obsessionality. I tend to go over and over the initial parts of fics, fiddling, then complete the last part in a rush before a deadline, Mostly I get away with that, but occasionally I've felt an ending was too rushed.
  • Because of the above, I value a completed fic more than an artwork that's taken the same amount of time. There's no real rationality to that and as a creative principle I disagree with it, but it's because of the different process for me. Fic's simply harder for me, or maybe my personal standards for fic are higher? Not sure.
  • Getting a bunny is crucial for fic - more so than with art, although there's some overlap. It's linked to the procrastination - if I can't come up with an idea I want to write, I'll postpone and postpone. I like challenge prompts, as they help with the bunny process and keep me to task re the procrastination. Left to my own devices I tend to drift and not write things even if I have a bunny.
  • I'm more likely to abandon a fic WIP as I can't get it to work, or realise I don't like where it's headed, or I get bored. That's rare with art.
  • (thought of another thing) I have less idea with writing what the outcome will be. I often launch off into it with a relatively flimsy bunny and it takes its own course, and I'm surprised (hopefully pleased) by the outcome. With longer works I do write notes and plans and try to stick to them, though, it's just the shorter works that are more of an adventure. But even if I plan, fics are a lot more likely to veer off on me and go their own way than art is. :)
The similarities:
  • A lot depends on getting the initial bunny or idea, in both processes. I can get quite restless and antsy until I have something to work on, especially if a fic or art challenge deadline is looming. Prompts in challenges can help with that, but not if they're too open and vague. I like difficult challenges that push me to do something I've never done before or with characters/fandom I don't know - it's the very bland general request in a known fandom that can be tricky.
  • Obsessional fussing with the fine details! Happens in both.
Finally, I'm going to briefly mention podfic here, as it's the other fannish thing I do. It's different again, as it's not in the main a creative exercise for me, but is a celebration and performance of someone else's creation. I love doing it and wish I could record more easily and edit faster. There's no angst with podfic as it's not an initial push for the creative inspiration, so it's all detail work to achieve the finished product. Yes, there's creativity in the performance itself, but that's more about interpretation for me, than imaginative inspiration. There's a bit of creativity, though, in making the cover art!
Tags: december meme, fanart, fanfiction, meta, podfic

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