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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Clear Writing is Illustrator's Vital Skills

Hiya, Friends, thank you for a great patience for my new post! This week, I'll chat over the importance of clear writing skills for a visual artist. Clear writing skills are as vital as good drawing skills. I've been working on paper work. Really, I'm under the pressure of the pile of papers this month. But I keep sketching to refresh myself. If I don't touch brushes, my hands cry out, really. I put colours on a black and white sketch (@the bottom of this post) from the memory. I also changed the use of colours to create a mood. It worked well, which gives me confidence to try this way -- sketch on spot and illustrate it in a studio!
Back to the topic, the importance of clear writing for a visual artist. In communication, we heavily rely on writing such as emails and documents in society. Competitions and any applications require writings. In the assessment of competitions and applications, good clear writing stands you out from other applicants.

Clear writing
Plain English is enough and essential, because, for example, application and submission limits words. "Write it even for an eight years old kid can get!" is my motto. (*My sociology tutor gave me the advice in uni.) My writing must get readers to follow my thoughts. I want them to say, "Ah-ha, Sadami wants to tell me that-and-that," after reading, don't you? "Smooth information flow" is the key. You do not need to write like a PhD thesis. Wishy-washy foggy sentences are "DON'T."

The tips for clear writing on a sentence, a paragraph structure and proof reading.

"Technical" rules on sentences. Basic and essential.
  • simple sentences = short sentences in right punctuation, spell and grammar. 
  • tell what you want to say straightforward. 
  • tighten up sentences = delete unnecessary words. 
  • use your familiar words, if not confidnet in a new word. 
Rules on the writing structure, paragraphs. 
  • entire writing has a "theme" = what you want to say.   
  • entire writing is divided into paragraphs that respond to the theme = easy to read.  
  • a paragraph has a structure =  a topic sentence, a body and a conclusion.  
  • each paragraph connects well by conjunctions = smooth information flow.  
A good clear writing has a structure. If you pick up a head sentence and a last sentence in each paragrah, you can get a topic and a conclusion.  

Do Proof Reading
  • Get your friends to read what you've read! Get feedback! 
  • Read loud your own writing. **Clear writing is easy to read out = if you cannot, your information flow is poor or stuck somewhere. 
The above is from my bitter experiences (outch!?). If they help you some, I'm very happy. If you have any more suggestions that I missed out, please let me know.

Regarding publishing industry, in globalisation, illustrators contact publishers all over the world. A formal and clear writing is essential in communication. An editor and an Illustrator exchange thoughts about texts and pictures by email. If an email does not covey an Illustrator's message, poor communication will mess up a project. As far as I know, successful illustrators and big names often have studied education, social science, particularly, English and linguistics. Many editors, too, are from education, English literature and language areas or experts of English/language.

This is the spot on sketch. 
He was trying hard to type out sentences on a keyboard.
Are you good at writing? I was not good at essay writing at uni. So, Friends, if you feel, "Oh, no I'm not, either," you are not alone!!! ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ  Aaagghhh, I'm under the pressure of a closing date of grants application. It's the beginning of March ~(*o*)~. I have to write more than 500 words in some parts. So, please pardon if I do not post each Monday. If you were a next door, I'd like you to check my draft. While writing the draft, I enjoy watercolour painting so as to post them for this blog. Thank you for visiting. Oh, you can't imagine how much I appreciate your warm cheers. I've learned lots how to say it in English from the communication with you, Friends.
Friends, Happy Painting and Writing, too!!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Just Do It! is Answer, but Never Be Alone

Thinking wastes my artistic life. If you've got a new idea, just do it next moment, before the idea will be gone. I'm becoming crazy busy with the projects and preparing for the book launch and the exhibition. In it, sketching buskers refreshes me. What do you think, Friends? Doing is the only answer in drawing. All of us know that even a good idea is a half baked potato. I'm an instinctive artist and a believer of experiences that teach me and foster me. None of theories is perfect. 

These ukulele players at market were from Melbourne. Interesting. An ukulele has only four strings (*a guitar has six!). Sketching music players is not so hard. They repeat same movements. So, pick up your most favorite or dramatic one and pin down it on paper. To simplify all other information is effective to demonstrate the drama.  

Here are my black and white created in the evening show. You can't see colours at night. But a very strong spot light intrigued me. I omitted all the necessary visual information which worked well to capture the moment. 
When I've reviewed the sketch books, an idea hits me, "Can't I use that tech in watercolour direct painting?" So, next time sketching, I want to try it! 
Also, we, Sydney Sketch Club went to Doung Moran National Portrait Exhibition 2014 in Paddington Reservoir Gardens I came late and only have 30 minutes to sketch architecture. I kept my motto, "To learn watercolour painting takes life long... plus 30 minutes!" ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ 
The Moran exhibition always inspires me. Another sketch club member gave me nice comments. "I'm not interested in a crystal clean work, but a work that tells a model and an artist's inner world." So am I. We enjoyed a chat, looking around the finalists. I copied one work, "Workshop Magician Paul Taffa" by David Naseby. In the copy, I emphasised masculinity.  Without our club organiser's important utter, "A model is a man!" I might work on a wrong way. In the sketching of David's work, I learned a lot how to harmonise colours in a limited pallet and David bravely omitted all unnecessary visual information in the work. An outcome successfully sends a very strong message. His approach overlaps my idea above.  
"Just do it!" has become my another motto. Finally, when you get stuck in your art activities, never be alone. See anyone else or other artists/same minded people are preferable. Chest off your pains and share joy. Don't get stressed. Join a sketch club is a good option. How much I appreciate the club's activities that refresh me so much and lift me up.
Then, I can keep on.
You, too, Friends, Happy Painting!