The Essence of Things

I asked a professional artist for some tips on sketching, where would be the best place to start? He said, look at the shape of the thing you’re sketching, and try to draw the essence of a single line of the object. For instance, if you were looking at someone’s shoulder, you might look at the line running from their jaw down to their arm and try to draw the essence of that shape in a single stroke, as one line.

I was at a screen writing conference with my wife, and someone asked the speaker for their thoughts on realism in films. He said that you have to go with what feels real, not necessarily what is real real. Because nobody cares about what is actually real, they care about an emotional connection.

I was watching a psychology lecture on YouTube, and the speaker was telling the class about how literature is actually more true than non-fiction. Because what good literature does is convey the essence of a circumstance. A good story may amalgomate thousands of real world patterns and distill into 1 pure form, and that book comes out a masterpiece and teaches the world exactly what is going on in that circumstance. The story becomes engrained into our culture and it pops up in our mind every time we bump into the circumstance in life.

I’m thinking about classics like Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, the Brothers Karamazov, the Lord of the Rings, Moby Dick, the Old Man and the Sea, Animal Farm, Peter Pan, Brave New World, and on and on.

These stories, along with countless others, have been engrained in our culture and effect us all. They make us better humans because we have extrapolated the essence from the human pattern and put it into story form. Stories are far more easily understood than a complex scientific theory. Stories resonate with us and inform our action much easier than an applicable intellectual theory (I’m not saying that the scientific theory isn’t useful, it just doesn’t move us to action like our emotions do).

Art is about the essence of things, the deeper meaning beyond the mundane world. The artist brings this to the forefront and reminds us of what is really there. The artist peels back the mundane to reveal the beautiful symphony.

Hustle it up!

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