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.
3. After I outlined the words, I decided to cover the page in shapes rather than drawing an image. I often doodle paisley or teardrop shapes. I drew the middle one and then filled in the others around it.
You’ll notice I drew the outlines in pencil before I went over/corrected them with marker. (I’ll erase the pencil before I fill in the designs on the rest of them.) If you google images for blackout poetry, you’ll find many examples of different approaches. Feel free to steal ideas. That is the point of the first video after all.
4. I started filling in the center shapes with designs. I didn’t draw them with pencil first. (Sometimes marker doesn’t completely cover pencil, and pencil won’t always erase if it has marker over it.) I was careful to not draw over my boxed words.
5. I started working in black and white but am leaving room for color in my designs.