Development Log 6.16.17 A week in review.

So between bouts of real life kicking my ass and days spent helping out as a creative consultant, which is quite possibly one of the most bizarre tasks that I’ve encountered while managing an art studio as it somehow combines development hell and editorial duties with design work and crunch time as more often then not you don’t get called in until after all other options for the project have been exhausted, I’ve been working on either developing the world of Lustre Zeal, its characters, its politics, its architecture, or filling in the gaps in my artistic abilities by focusing on the fundamentals because as I’ve become painfully aware, the difference between learning how to draw and learning how to communicate visually is vast. Hellishly vast. Moreso even then learning how to write a novel because all the things I’ve learned as an author either contradict working with a visual narrative or because the methods I’ve come to rely on simply aren’t applicable and thus I’ve had to transition from using a Narrative Transportation Model to come up with the various scenarios I work with to an Extended Transportation Imagery Model which at the moment is harder to work with as it requires a level of information density on par with that of the finished work itself in order to function. Also transitioning between the point of origination and the intended destination can be markedly difficult without a clear goal in mind which is why having a foundation on which to build is so important as simply learning to navigate the process involves far more time and energy then even I care to admit. To give an example of this when I was first learning how to write I would sit in front of my keyboard for hours on end until I was able to ‘find the feeling’ and ‘hear the words’ which is a terrible way to try and explain something and no doubt part of the impetus which spurred me on to study neuropsychology as I absolutely cannot stand the new age hand waving hippie woo-woo that passes itself off as advice for anyone who is an aspiring author or artist because as a neurodiverse individual I can’t draw whatever I feel if I can’t ‘feel’ anything to begin with! Bloody stupid Sighted Paradox passing itself of as common knowledge that’s what that is, better to try and explain Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave to a blind man then to try and comprehend that nonsense. Seriously though, sitting in front of a blank screen for hours at a time eventually started to work, and the only reason I say eventually is because the gradual accumulation of phenomenological qualia and development of the schema tipped the balance from a scattered semblance of awareness to a precise laser like focus. Also I started practicing oratory, the manner of speech, not the prayer, so whenever I set aside time to write I would start off by reading the things that I’d already written in either the most dramatic and often overly emotional way possible or by going from sotto voce to haupstimme as its easier to establish mood and presence when working with sound then it is a flat dialectic. The rationalist in me reels at such an admission while the humanist rejoices. What a delightful contradiction that is. Anyway, the point, which I’ve no doubt buried beneath a wall of rhetoric several feet deep, is that engaging with one’s ideas in a visual format requires an organizational structure that supports how we receive information rather then how we perceive it. This conclusion has of course led me into the world of aesthetic choices as in order to change the mood or shift the scheme relying on sound in order to perceive the narrative is no longer enough to anchor the idea in reality as the transposition of elements must be both familiar and recognizable in order to achieve the intended result without causing either cognitive or emotional dissonance. The underlying problem with this idea though comes from its reliance on the ego and its interactions with the extension of self because as we engage with other similar works in order to increase our familiarity with an idea so too does the risk of becoming derivative rather then innovative. Or in other words, knowing what I want the world of Lustre Zeal to look like is not the same thing as understanding the philosophy behind those designs or the feelings they’re intended to evoke. A fact that is made all the more evident when you begin to research the various movements in art and start running into the ideas that have had a long lasting cultural impact and have in turned served to shape not only people’s expectations, but their entire understanding of aesthetic narrative in the first place.

The other thing that I’ve been working on is learning is how to develop an idea once I’ve come up with it rather then simply trying to make it work right from the word go. With writing you can develop an idea as you go along, with drawing there’s a point where its just easier to start over from the beginning then it is to try and make something work if when you go to ink or color it all that ends up happening is emphasizing the flaws in a way that makes them stand out. My own lack of experience notwithstanding it really is a difficult thing to maintain a state of flow when you’re constantly being hammered by the curse of knowledge and the Dunning-Kruger effect.