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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rules? What Rules?

There are rules for cooking and rules for dating.  There are rules that govern our behaviors in society and rules in most households.  They all have their place.  But I just want to go on record and say that in all my not inconsiderable life experience I have yet to see a Rule Book for writing or artwork.  Yes, I am well aware that there are “schools of thought” and “best practices.”  I am also aware that there is, through numerous peoples’ prior expertise and experience, a significant body of knowledge about what seems to work well, effectively and provide “success” in both writing and the art world. 

I also think it is a good idea for an artist to learn at least the basics of their craft.  I believe it is a good practice to hone one’s craft. 

Having, at times in my life, been a rule breaker and sometimes rebel, I find it equally important to break those non-existent rules--oh, the irony!   Perhaps Pirates of the Caribbean had it right when they said that rules are more of a guideline.  To be constrained by rules in art and writing is a double edged sword. 

There is the value of creating something in the normal and expected manner.  But for the sake of creativity and the sake of an artist’s (I use the term inclusively, as writers are also artists) sanity, constraint by rules can be a death knoll to genuine expression and creative intent.  Rules can stymie the flow of ideas.  And when the flow of ideas stops, the art stops.

Not only does the art stop, but the exploration of the use of mediums vanishes.  What would have happened if the Van Eyck’s had not experimented with pigments and oils?  We would have no oil paintings.  What would have happened if the studio art movement did not play with the production and manipulation of glass?  So many unique expressions in glass would not exist. 

What would happen if artists had not broken the rules?  Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, among many others, immediately come to mind.  Now I realize that there are certain sets of critics and artists who “don’t like” or at least are not fans of these type of artists' work, but it is my belief that our artistic vision, our artistic evolution and the culture of art would be stagnant if not for the rule breakers. 

Sometimes you just have to allow something new to be born that has never been seen before.  This can’t happen within the confines of a fenced in belief system.  Even if there WERE a book of official rules for which an artist should follow…I still would say…rules?  what rules?