Thursday, February 19, 2009


Alphonse Mucha

Trent did a post about the kind of music he listens to while he writes and it made me realise I prefer quiet (not that I get it with 6 kids and a husband who shares the computer room with me). What inspires me is images.

Ever since I discovered the art of Mucha I've loved it. This is one of his more confronting pieces to promote the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

When I write a book or a novella I unconsciously select visuals to go with it. I'd read books on artists in my spare time, and research say, Constantinople including the art and architecture. When I caught myself adjusting my computer desk-top to tie in with the manuscript I was currently writing I finally made the conncection.

Now I actively search out visuals to enrich my mental head-space, while I write. I hunt up art, clothing, architecture and factual details, often drawn from wildly disparate areas. As I write, I create a folder ( imaginatively) called research and drop everything to do with the new book in there.

When I immerse myself in art I find it surfaces in my dreams. These become richly stylised and include back story, and characters with motivation. I wake up feeling as if I've been on a holiday to an exotic place that only exists in my imagination. Who wouldn't write fantasy?

I wonder if musicans dream in music, or comic book artists in line-work?

Cheers, Rowena

1 comment:

Flinthart said...

That's fascinating, Rowena. For me, like Trent, it's music. I can show you a dozen stories, and name the song that brought each of them to life. And when I really need to immerse myself in what I'm writing, I find the music that most effectively communicates the theme of the piece, and just put it on repeat.

Art and the visual stuff... nup. I like your chap Mucha. Puts me in mind of Aubrey Beardsley, I think, but more vivid. Nevertheless, visuals and art simply don't provoke narrative from me, whereas music has done so since I was about five years old. (Ask me about it at ROR.)