Notations on notations

I would be drawing right now, but I’m really full…and am kind of not feeling it.

Last night I was able to move forward in my plot development as regards the story in relation to the symbol work we’re doing in Creative Process class.  I was actually surprised as regards where the the story went — I ended up writing a plot-outline prequel to my original idea.  I suppose there are three places I could note this:  one, on my computer but offline; two, here; three, in my art journal.

The art journal option is the most private but also the most vulnerable to accidental loss.  After that comes something I just write out in Word, or something, and save.  That’s relatively easy to lose, if I accidentally delete the wrong file and/or lose or corrupt my backups and/or have to nuke my hard drive.  The third option, leaving it on here, is the most secure against oblivion but also the most obviously public.  I suppose I could employ cloud storage as well; that might be a good option, and I know of a couple of secure places to do so.

The problem with writing things out digitally is that there is no space for addendums and images and diagrams the way there is, when working on paper.  The drawback to working on paper — other than the fact that it can be easily lost (though this can be remedied with high-res digital photography, uploaded to a portable archive) — is, majorly, organizational.  Right now I have all of this in a book, which helps where it comes to keeping things together (at least where I didn’t write things out on here or reference other websites or sources [like my AquaBee pad]), but I might want to look at multiple pages at once or rearrange elements, you know?

One of the advantages of paper is that I have 18″x24″ and larger sheets of paper, here (like the 30″ wide roll of white Kraft paper — though I’m not sure how long of a sheet I have).  I can diagram things that would be hard to visualize on a screen.  It just takes more work to shift things around, especially when working in ink.  Even colored pencil (instead of colored ink) doesn’t erase very well.

I would not have thought to use an art journal to work out key elements of a written story, series of stories, or graphic-novel story.  It does work, though — especially now that I can analyze what is being expressed through my images.

And it has been helpful, actually, thinking back to an old professor who said that all “stories” have a conflict.  Although this kept me from writing for a number of years (I didn’t take it very well; it seemed arbitrary), if we look at it this way:  All stories have a driving conflict; identify the major conflict first, and fill out the rest as you come to it (or as it comes to you) — it makes constructing the foundation of the story a lot easier.  And foundations come before details — something I’m learning in Figure Drawing and Watercolor.

What I thought she had been saying was that stories without conflicts were non-stories (or prose, at best), but if I turn the sleeve of that inside-out, so to speak, there’s some kind of function to that statement.  It actually looks like it fits something, or could be useful.

And, I’ve found, expressing conflict and tension might be a good counterpoint at least to trying to generate utopias and heavens in my art and writing.  It doesn’t mean I have to give up the latter, but people living in this world might find conflict and tension more engaging, as it reflects their experience.  I might be able to sneak in a little soothing, but do I really want to be like one of the Buddhist authors I know about who calmed me down in the middle of my existential angst?  What does he write when he isn’t doing that?  I mean, sure, it’s valuable, but it’s limiting.

In any case, dynamism and a little bit of being off-balance is not necessarily a bad thing.  It gives you a next place to step.

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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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