Making art is about making connections. Even if you are working realistically, the way you chose what you are going to depict is based in how you have connected the subject to your own need to communicate. Mentally I picture the process of trying to come up with an idea like trying to cross a stream without getting my feet wet. I start on one rock that seems stable and then look for the next steppingstone that will get me closer to the other side. Sometimes it is a straightforward journey, and other times I have a few false starts, wobbly rocks, before I get to the idea.
The four websites below were my steppingstones to this week’s prompt. After watching the first video below, I looked up the artist’s website to read more about his work. The idea of blackout poetry was intriguing but he wasn’t doing anything artistically interesting with it. However, Kleon had mentioned Tom Phillips so I looked up a video of him talking about his work. In the related videos, was the hidden poem video.
Steal Like an Artist: Austin Kleon at TEDxKC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oww7oB9rjgw
Kleon Website: https://austinkleon.com/2014/04/29/a-brief-history-of-my-newspaper-blackout-poems/
Tom Phillips - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hRLgtqKM88 - artist talking about his work
Hidden Poems by Miriam Paternoster - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf6k8aW2Toc
So, here are my steps in beginning my blackout poem artwork:
1. I didn’t have a book that I wanted to cut up or draw into, so I copied a page of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. You can use any source as long as there is enough text and a variety of words. You may want to copy yours depending on the source of your text. Some types of paper don't work well with some mediums (markers, pen, colored pencils, etc.) For example shiny magazine pages don’t work very well with colored pencils. Computer paper works well with almost any medium.
2. I read through the text to see what words I had available. I underlined possibilities with a pencil. After I went through it a few times I wrote out my “poem” so I could see if it made any sense. I added punctuation, but kept the words in the same order from top to bottom, left to right. It’s not very good, but I went with it and outlined the words in marker.
Curious, I called with interest, and lack of sleep “Is a chronic shortage of funds much worse?”
I don’t know how and still less why, making things difficult—a nonessential impasse.