Youth Fiction Author and Illustrator's Official Blog Page

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Author or Artist: which reveals more?

by Kevin Scott Collier

I visit many schools throughout the year and some students are surprised that I am both a writer and illustrator. One young lady commented, “I didn’t think you could do both.” Apparently she imagined you were either one or the other, but never one in the same.

One question I am asked often is, “Which do you like best, writing or drawing?” I think, in general, more people can write than draw. So, artists might seem to garner more attention. That makes being an artist more fun than being a writer, as I can create images beyond written words.

If I asked any classroom I have visited, “Which would you like me to do for then next hour, read my stories or draw for you?” The response would be unanimous. Kids would want the artist, not the writer.

When youths ask me what I “like best,” question should be “which do I prefer?” My answer this question is I prefer being the writer.

“Drawing looks like it would be more fun,” one boy said. “It’s much cooler.”

Both are fun, and can be cool. But an illustration doesn’t reveal anything about the person who created it.

Walk into any art gallery and examine the work of an unknown artist. Write down the artist’s name then what you have learned about the person through their works. It would be only a guess.

Read several books written by an unknown author. Examine the works, tone and messages. Scribble out what you have learned about the person through their stories. It would still be a guess, but much better one. In fact, you might be right on the money.

Writers reveal themselves; whether intended or not. Woven into their crafted words and creativity are images of themselves. How they feel… how they reason… a glimpse into their emotions. They write about what they have experienced and how they view circumstances. Writers rarely hide their faces, while artists are chameleons.

I’m a writer and an artist. Both are fun, and rewarding. But only one reveals the person I am.

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