My art, your art

Art belongs, in my mind, as much to the artist as it does to the audience but in different ways.

A creation is completely dual in the way it can never be separated from its creator if one wants to understand it but at the same time it doesn’t need any context to be appreciated for what it is, to be given value. So being able to determine to whom it belongs in the end – to the author who created it with some intention behind it or to the reader who gives it his or her own meaning? – is very difficult.

Some say a creation belongs solely to the creator and cannot be dissociated from them. But what do you do in the case of someone who did things or thinks things that are completely opposite to your way of living? Can you still appreciate their art? What about Hitler’s paintings? Are they still art, knowing what he has done? Can you really enjoy Edgar Allen Poe’s POEtry (see what I did there? #lol) without knowing the tortured soul he was? Or The Rocky Horror Picture Show without knowing the political/cultural context of the time?

And others that it belongs to the readers/viewers/public who enjoys that art. But what if they use it in a way that was not designed by the author and that might contradict his or her view of their art? Or what if they change it from its original form to make it ‘better’ or more ‘politically correct’, can it still be considered as having the same meaning, the same impact as the original work? What if they read the meanings wrong or attribute it false ones?

How does one define the line of property for a piece of art (whatever it may be)?

I don’t have an answer to that question, I don’t know for sure. But It’s something that I think about quite frequently. I believe that, just as life in general is complicated, it is the same for art. There are so many different cases and scenarios… What I think I am able to say right now is that a creation should be able to stand on its own to a certain extent, that the public should be able to find beauty/interest in a piece of art just by experiencing it. And then, if they learn how it was created, what it means or what the artist wanted to represent with it, then the art piece can only become even more beautiful/interesting. So it’s paradoxical. The art and the artists are two different things that should be separate but at the same time completely merged together, thus creating a great piece.

I’d like to finish on the fact that I, for one, often insert meanings and references in my art (if I dare call it that), some of which are obvious and others are hidden from the public eye. There are some references I want my public to get, whether I hide them or not, then there are some that I design so that only people privy to the knowledge of my person will get, and then there are some that I insert here and there that may seem comprehensible and obvious (or not at all) but that no one except me will probably ever get. There are many layers to [my] art and I love that about it.

Now, I also think that, beyond what I meant to say, to make people understand through what I write (for example) I people should be able/free to understand/take out what they want from my creations. They are made to make you think, feel and be interested but not just in the way I designed them to be, also int he way you want them to be. And we come back to the paradoxical concept of art here because I want my creations to carry a message but at the same time I want them to be understood on a personal level by each individual who discovers them and in their own original way too.

Is there an answer to this in the end? I don’t, and probably never will, know if I am truly succeeding in this venture but I do truly hope that I do because that makes everything more beautiful. All I can hope is that some people do enjoy discovering and experiencing it as much as I enjoy making it.

PS: I realize now that I haven’t spoken about context until now but it is very important in my opinion. Because the context in which I write (or any artists creates) adds meaning and intent to a creation and so does the context in which people discover said art, it can change something beautiful into something ugly and despicable or inversely.


Sorry if this appeared as a bit of a rant or if it was incomprehensible, I just wanted to put into words what I was feeling and I pray that I did it in a sufficiently coherent manner. Also, example might have been a bit weird, I know…

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Concept #1 – Role reversal

Image by tomhotovy


Prompts & Concepts

Context: adventure story, most likely (during) a Manichean type of conflict. Good guys versus bad guys. Single characters or groups, doesn’t matter for either side.


During one of the fights between the protagonists and the antagonists, one of the antagonists, a particularly antagonistic character is captured/taken in by the protagonists.

At first he tries to free himself/leave and go back to his own companions. He doesn’t succeed and is stuck with the protagonists for some time.

Over the course of said time he tries to destroy them or convert them to his point of view to get them to come to his side but he doesn’t seem to succeed.

Slowly, however, and without completely realizing it, he starts to turn to the protagonists side and to befriend them.

At one point in the story he even begins to help them towards their cause. Overtime he changes to their side.

A possible twist to that would be that one of the protagonists, at one point in the story (possibly around the moment the antagonist who has been captured starts becoming a protagonist), betrays the other protagonists and decides to join the antagonists’ side.

Why not make this happen during a great battle (meaning a major conflict in the story). The antagonist who has been captured finally starts helping the protagonists and as they are about to overcome (or even things out with) the other antagonists (who feel betrayed by the captured antagonist’s desertion) they are betrayed by one of them and that betraying protagonist leaves with the antagonists and joins their cause but not before badly wounding the captured antagonist.

This could be either about the point of view of the good side or the bad side: a dark/evil character becoming good (with all the struggle it implies), or a good character becoming evil. Or something else entirely.

Also, I say ‘he’ when talking about the character(s) but that doesn’t mean I mean them to be male (nor human), anything goes.

This may seem common (it uses some common tropes/plot devices) but the whole psychological aspect of the betrayal of the antagonist towards his companions and then the betrayal of the protagonist to join the other side could be very interesting to exploit.

Also, why not mix in a few love interests here and there to make things more complicated? Like between a protagonist and the antagonist they captured or between a protagonist and the other one who will betray them? The person the antagonist who starts to become good likes is killed (or gravely wounded) by the protagonist traitor?


Yep. There you go.

This is a short and simple one to begin with, but quite interesting and efficient nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy!

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What you write is not what you are…

Well not always anyway.

A writer doesn’t always write about how they feel or about how they think or view the world, not exactly. Writing isn’t always an open letter to one’s soul. Sometimes it’s less than that: Just a fun way of escaping daily thinking and routine. Or more than that, like a profound analysis of one’s psychology, moods and soul. But other times it’s something different, something that isn’t exactly them (or me or you), something that fills us, that passes through us, that uses us as a means of reaching others.

Sometimes, for a writer, writing is a vessel for foreign emotions. Fabricated emotions, borrowed emotions, emotions that are empathized… Emotions that aren’t ours, that do not belong to us but that we feel anyways. A writer acts a bit like a channel for these emotions.

I am not sad or happy, I don’t feel trapped or wings grow just because I write so. Perhaps I do, perhaps I don’t. Perhaps a bit of both. Perhaps not. Writing is a mash of a lot of things and a bit of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff that we don’t always understand or think or feel but that we put into words anyways because it seems the moment to do so.

Writing is something you do to express yourself but not necessarily to express your self. This is something important that I have learned by participating in writing classes: never consider the protagonist of a story (or the subject or theme of a story) as the writer themselves. Try to think of it more like a mirror, a projection, something the writer decided to write about and that is dear to them, holds meaning, but doesn’t define them. The point of view of a character in a story is not the point of view of the author, so it is not to be refered as so.

True, as an author your ideas, thoughts and opinions often end up in your characters but that doesn’t mean that everything the story expresses is what the author wants to express or tries to convey. Sometimes, when writing, one even conveys things they didn’t even want to convey. Art is made to make people feel, think and reflect. Sometimes it expresses ideas but always remember, art and artists are a very clearly separate duo, even if they are completely fused together.

This was just a small rant to try to clarify this for all of humanity. Here’s the tl;dr you have to learn from this: ‘I am not what I write. Mostly.’. Maybe it sounds stupid, unnecessary or incomprehensible (I apologize if it does) but I felt it was something important to say and I wanted to express it.

Thank you for reading and understanding.

Midnight philosophy without reason

This is a little something I wrote one late night some time ago and that I just found again, just wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!


Mais parmi les chacals, les panthères, les lices,
Les singes, les scorpions, les vautours, les serpents,
Les monstres glapissants, hurlants, grognants, rampants,
Dans la ménagerie infâme de nos vices,

II en est un plus laid, plus méchant, plus immonde!
Quoiqu’il ne pousse ni grands gestes ni grands cris,
Il ferait volontiers de la terre un débris
Et dans un bâillement avalerait le monde;

C’est l’Ennui! L’oeil chargé d’un pleur involontaire,
II rêve d’échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
— Hypocrite lecteur, — mon semblable, — mon frère!

— Charles Baudelaire

***

It’s a little past three in the morning here in France but I am still up, listening to music and procrastinating in front of my computer, and it is during these hours, when the world is as silent as death, that I feel the most inspired. Why is that? Perhaps it is the night surrounding me or the feeling that I’m alone on this earth, I don’t know, but it’s a mix of melancholy and happiness, excitation and fatigue. It is a very strange state of mind that makes you think about things that you wouldn’t think about in usual situations. It has the same effect as the shower or going to the restroom: one develops a philosophical spirit in these situations for some strange and unknown reasons. I tend to think it’s because in these moments we feel freed, for a few minutes, of all the problems and thoughts trapped in our heads and we allow ourselves to think about other things, to see the world differently. Maybe it is also because we are bored during these moments and we try to feed our minds with complicated questions.

In these times I think about things like the fate of the universe, the reason of our existence and sometimes it frightens me as I try to imagine what the world will be after I have passed away, after I am not part of it anymore. It scares me to think that one day I will cease to exist and that I won’t even be conscious to know that I have ceased to exist. I fear boredom. Not boredom in the usual sense, Boredom, with a capital B, as Baudelaire describes it. Boredom that waits patiently for you, the Boredom that fills your life and that you try to forget by distracting your mind off of it. It scares me a lot. But as I think about it I can’t help but put things into perspective and tell myself that I still have a long life to live and many things to do.

I think about my stories, those I have finished (the one actually), those I’m writing and those I might write. I dream to become a great writer, to publish my stories for thousands of people to read, but I know I still have work to do. Sometime I even dream to become a poet, like Charles Baudelaire. I don’t know if you, dear reader, have heard of him, but to my mind he is one of the greatest french poets of all time. I can’t stop from admiring the quality and the complexity of his work, every time you read his poems there is new content to be found. Unfortunately he wasn’t recognized as such until long after his death and that angers me a bit because he had real talent. Sadly not every great artist, or great man in general, is recognized in his time.

Don’t ask me why I’m writing this, I have no idea, I just felt like rambling a little and telling people about Baudelaire a bit, to get you to know him. I also wanted to talk about how I feel linked to his writings sometimes, he is one of the rare poets that I enjoy reading, even if his writings are not the most joyous ones. And he also symbolizes the quality of work that I want to reach with my stories and that I hope to achieve one day. It’s time for me to go to sleep but I still don’t wish to go, I want to stay up and write all night, I want to work with this feeling as long as I can, but I know that it’s not possible and soon day will rise and I will lose this sensation. I can only hope that, as tomorrow is a new day, it will also be a new night.