Sunday 9 December 2012

Writing Lesson From Picasso

There are lesson to be learned from the art and the mind of Pablo Picasso. His techniques, creative insights, and empathy of his art has distinguished him as the revolutionary artist of the twentieth century.

Pablo Picasso                             
Oct. 25, 1881 - Apr. 8, 1973                                      
Born in Malaga, Spain

"When I was a child, my mother told me, 'If you become a soldier, you will be a general. If you become a monk, you will end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

Ah, the confidence to do what you were destined to do in life, and to do it well. This is a lesson all creators of the arts can take to heart. 

Pablo Picasso was an innovative thinkers of his time. He reinvented himself many times over during his career. Depending on his mental state and what was going on in the world at the time, his paintings took on the persona of: depression during his 'Blue Period'; love during his 'Rose Period'; shocking abstracts from his 'Cubist Period'; and the 'Classic Period' as World War 1 broke out. But at each stage, the art was profound and empathetic.

Does this mean that, as a writer, if we can feel the deepest emotions of what we are writing at a certain time, the work will be more poignant? I think that is exactly what Pablo Picasso was telling the world.

If a writer or an artist does not have their emotions wholeheartedly invested in their art, then neither will the reader or the viewer.

Pablo Picasso knew of the complexity of creating a piece of art, but he also understood the simplicity of art. Upon passing a group of school kids in his old age Picasso remarked,

"When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Rapheal,  but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them." 
Pablo Picasso, Self Portrait, 1907, oil on canvas

As a children's book author, this statement is a profound lesson to me. It's as if the artist is telling me to leave behind my adult ego and think as a child, to play as a child, to create as a child. And then, and only then, when I have re-mastered the skills of being a child, to write the books for the child.

Being an artist has also taught me lessons in writing for children, and teaching art to children, more so. Teaching children helps me to understand their creative insights, their lack of ego or competition, and their pure imagination that is so very intense. Children create from their heart.

So as a children's book author, the lessons I've learned from being around the creative minds of children is what grounds me in my writing, and teaches me how to create stories for children, through the eyes of a child, and with the heart of a child. Children have also taught me how to capture childlike innocence in my own art.

Diane M. Robinson, The Princess Knight, 2009, acrylic on canvas

Pablo Picasso has made a profound impact on the world of art, and his creative genius is a lesson to all who create, in all aspects of the arts.

                "If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes." Pablo Picasso

                                    May the wheels of creativity never stop turning.

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