Wednesday, May 5, 2010

keep the good parts, ditch the rest

It’s easy to get attached to a story or a painting when you like one tiny part of it, even if the rest of it is horrible. Sometimes it’s best to keep the good parts and jettison the awful bits.

For writing, consider keeping a file with good lines and scenes that are available to use in a future story. If you want to keep the original, you can, but pull out the good lines so that you can find them if you have an idea how to make it work, or how to use them in a different story.

For art, if it’s so awful that you want to rip it up (we’ve all been there), consider cutting out the part you like before you rip up the rest of it. You never know when you might be able to use that image again, or if it will spark an idea for a new painting or a graphic novel.

Here are two of my latest saves (from when I went through old art files and tossed the scary pictures):

Seagull Soaring
Seagull Soaring

I really love this seagull because he’s the best seagull I’ve ever painted and because he reminds me of the beach. Some day I might find a story or painting to put him in, or I’ll just continue to enjoy this little bit that I saved from an awful painting.

Cozy Little House
Cozy Little House

I liked this house too much to get rid of it. You can probably tell from the colors that the painting turned out really dark, or at least the rest of it did. This little detail was light enough to save.  Maybe someone that lives at this house will go to the beach to visit the seagull some day.

Remember to save your favorite bits when you kill your awful stories and pictures. Even if they never make it into another story or picture, at least they can still make you smile :)