Saturday, March 02, 2013

Curing writer's block with imagery - Lynda Barry's 'What It Is'

What It Is - by Lynda Barry
 I recently read Lynda Barry's book 'What It Is' - a book that is part memoir, part visual journal, and part creative block-eradicator.
This book completely blew my mind.  I'm more comfortable with creativity via words than painting/drawing, but in reading her book, it unlocked something, a core truth about how we humans can unearth some amazing things using imagery.  This can then get transferred into words, but it first must be pulled from that almost guttural, pre-verbal part of ourselves.  Good writers and artists probably do this instinctively, but lesser mortals (such as myself) need to see it laid out for them.  This book does that nicely.

What It Is - by Lynda Barry
Her pages are exploratory, open, questioning.  The statement is: We don't have to have all the answers, but we do need to be full of wonder.
Where before my journal entries could tend to the heavy, diatribe-laden events of the day, this book teaches that journaling can be something more.  Magically elevated even while digging around in the muck.

I'm not the greatest at drawing, so I'm doing a combo of stick figures, magazine clippings and the written word.
I've started combing through old magazines and cutting out phrases and images that speak to me.  Old National Geographics, Vogue, Martha Stewart - it's all excellent fodder.
Then I just glue stick some stuff into a cheapo composition book and let the ideas flow.  An excerpt from a recent journal entry:

1 comment:

Kaytie said...

Oh, I love this! I've done some collages for stories (generally by printing pictures off the internet and cutting/pasting the old fashioned way) but I hadn't thought to journal this way.