Art (And Why We Don’t Really Appreciate It)

There’s always that person in an art museum- “I could make that. Come on its just a line.” They’re rude and insulting and no one want to go with that person. In addition to writing I work designing jewelry and have delved back into what originally got me into art- 2-D geometrically and color oriented art. Its taken about 6 hours to get one piece sketched and inked properly.
I’ve always been aware of art, of color and pattern in the world, but in the past few months its really dawned on me how much art there really is in the world. The lettering on a lotion bottle, the photography on your calendar and packages, the designs on your bags, on every product you use there’s some form of art. We live in a culture so oversaturated with art we don’t see it and don’t appreciate it. Its why “Oh you’re an artist.” is said in the same scathing tone reserved for contagious disease and why students get asked what they’re back-up plan is if they focus on any of the arts.
For me, art was always my back-up plan, what I was good enough at to get by if everything else falls through. No one expects to use their back-up plan. No one expects to succeed at it. That’s why its a back-up plan. But take a moment to appreciate the non-traditional art surrounding you and creditless artists who exist in the background of the world. Maybe desigining packaging was their dream or maybe it was their back up plan. Either way we can focus on the art in museums or what surrounds us.

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There are a few things I know for certain: pencil always smears, gray carpet in a studio is the worst idea, and research is a lot of times the most boring things a writer can do. Which isn’t to say research isn’t necessary or even interesting at times, but reading, watching videos, digging for those things and taking notes can get tedious quickly. I’ve always known this, but I’ve been working on expanding a short story I wrote last summer into, if the plot allows, a full blown novel. Unfortunately given the subject matter of the novel it also means that I have to do a lot more research than I planned on accumulating this summer. I love history, and have always had a fascination with the time period I’m working in, but right now I want to write which I can’t do until I can get a timeline better pinned down. 

How do you handle large quantities of research? What tricks do you use to keep yourself engaged for long periods of time? How do you manage the boredom that inevitably accompanies hours of searching for material you may not use?