Guest Post by Destiny Allison – Writing Related to Art

As promised, today I have a guest post from the multi-talented Destiny Allison, artist and author of Shaping Destiny and Pipe Dreams.  If you haven’t visited her art website at http://destinyallisonfineart.com/ or her blog at http://shapingdestinythebook.com/ , drop by and I guarantee it will add to your Friday celebration!

Teri, thanks so much for having me on Books and Such today. When you asked me to talk about the 13518665relationship between art and writing, I smiled. For me, they’re two sides of the same coin.

The processes are similar. In sculpture, you create a rough outline or armature that will support the weight of the material once you begin to flesh it out. If the armature is flawed, it’s a lot of work to fix it and sometimes you can’t. Once you have it in place, you start adding — large chunks at first in a haphazard and rough fashion — until you have a shape you like. Then you begin the final detailing, adding, subtracting, and honing the work. A sculpture, like a book, is done when your tweaks don’t change anything.

What I find interesting, and hadn’t noticed myself, is that my books are really visual. Readers see the people and places vividly and many of them have said Pipe Dreams should be a movie. I think that’s because my artist eye is trained to notice things and because I see letters like shapes. An A is a triangle. An O is a circle. Each letter has a different emotional connotation that inspires me. In my sculptures, geometric shapes and organic forms combine to express idea and emotion. The same is true in my letters and words. The arrangement of words in a sentence creates a visual effect that stimulates feeling and imagination.  17973984

Here’s an example:

Act on.

On act.

If you drew a line along the top of the first two words, you would see that all the letters flow from high to low, creating a sideways triangle. In the second, the t at the end of act balances out the O and makes more of a rectangle.  Triangles, in sculpture, denote action while rectangles are static.

Authors understand that the right word can make all the difference between a good sentence and a bad one. The right word creates flow. Sometimes it’s about a specific meaning, but in other instances it has to do with the shape of the word, whether we realize it consciously or not.  If people want to know more about this theory, I describe it in detail in my memoir, Shaping Destiny.

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7 thoughts on “Guest Post by Destiny Allison – Writing Related to Art

  1. Interesting! I’ve never really thought about the shapes of the letters or the appearance of the words on the page as I write. I do remember as a kid assigning some of them genders, but it’s been years since I looked as letters as anything other than the building blocks of words and sentences. Thanks, Destiny–and Teri!

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie. A long time ago, I actually created a poem as a sculpture. It was one of the most amazing things I ever did. Looking at the myriad definitions of each word and seeing if the shapes that I understood from sculpture made sense in relationship to all of them. They did. It blew my mind.

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  2. Interesting post, Destiny. My husband is the artist, and I am the writer. We often have conversations along these same lines comparing our two creative outlets. I’ve often thought they were different until retirement when we had more time to talk about how we arrive at a project we want to do, a project is finished, or we sharing with one another something we’re working on. All these kinds of thoughts bounce between us. These little conversations and sharing have enlightened me and I have taken a new look at the written word as a result. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

    Teri, thanks for inviting such an interesting guest to share with us today.

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    1. Thanks Sherrey. I’ve always done both — writing and art — and the processes are almost identical. I think, at least from what my musician friends tell me, it’s the same there, too. Once I realized that, I felt free to explore in any media. Of course I have my favorites, but that’s just because I’m comfortable with the tools. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for stopping by, Sherrey. I know Destiny’s post is making me look at things in a different way. That’s interesting about you and your husband. My son is an artist (apparently got it from an extremely recessive gene) and I’m going to make sure he also reads this.

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