April 12, 2013

Being an Artist naturally means that we stand on the shoulders of giants


Believe it or not, but every artist, writer and creative agent in this world stands on the shoulders of those who have come before. All those who create new art and literature are in fact furthering and building on the legacy of those who have preceded them.
And this cartoon illustrates this; something which I find of huge importance and huge scope. But which I also feel goes unnoticed.
When I draw I look to those greats who paved the way. People like Ronald Searle and Rowel Friars who have now passed; people who are still with us such as artists like Steve Bell, Martin Rowson, Morten Morland, Ian Knox and Oliver Jeffers.
The work of all these people pulses through my art work.
And when it comes to writing the same applies. I don’t actually consider myself that well read. As I’ve said previously, I didn’t read much as a child or as a teenager. But I have been trying to make up for this in recent times.
I’ve tried to read those celebrated works in the Western canon such as Dickens, Austen, Woodhouse – however I’ve found their fiction distinctively bland and uninspiring. I prefer biographies and topical writing: from books to long form commentary and analysis, to general news reports.
Particular favourites are Gillian Tett of the FT and City A.M. editor, Allister Heath. These financial journalists write short, punchy prose and frequently use colons and semi-colons which I always feel add crunch and bite to any text.
I always read that the much storied US writer Ernest Hemingway had a knack for writing in a short, snappy style. This is a direction in which I’m taking my work. So I very much intend to read his work and am leaning towards Farewell to Arms. We’ll see how that goes…
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