What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Six Geese A-laying - Thoughts on Constrained Creativity

(Or, why knowing how to write, using somewhat literate grammar, what is story, and why you need to follow the damn submission guidelines you special snowflake you)

Advice in Drawing 101, "Listen to direction, nod sagely as if you understand, take notes on project, draw what the hell you wanted to anyway." Just because it's a themed anthology doesn't mean the theme is all of what your story is about.

Advice in Graphic Design 200, "Clients will give you constraints, your job is to work around them to give the clients what they need." Follow the damn submission guidelines, but give the editors something that sparkles, instead of the 398th story with zeppelins flying overhead.

Advice in Illustration 300, "You can always slip in what you wanted to illustrate and most people will hardly notice." Theme is slippery, it often can take many forms. And what looks like a duck and walks like a duck may very well be a goose.

Advice in Modeling 101 (3D Structures), "Never use the 'L' Word (love) as your sole critique point." Saying, "I loved it," might be a nice sentiment, but it's not a critique. Be more specific about what you loved about it.

Advice in Packaging Design 345, "If you don't think of how the whole thing goes together on the shelf, with all the other competition, you're not doing your job." In other words, pay attention to the market.

Advice in Computer Graphics 320, "The computer is not the artist, it's the medium. It's a sophisticated and often frustrating pencil." You are not your tools, nor are your tools the product (unless you make tools or are one yourself).

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