I want to explore some of the wonderful and inspiring gifts I’ve received while absorbing art over the years. These gifts have influenced my own art, whether or not they can be clearly seen in the final products I create.
Day 5: the Gift of Cohesive Vision
I am someone who marvels at a strong cohesive vision. My head so often feels like a jumble of colors and themes. I love so many different things at once, it’s hard to stick to one path. I admire symmetry and simplicity...or at least complexity handled in such a way that it looks simple.
There are a few artists that come to mind when thinking about cohesive vision Wes Anderson, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Baz Luhrmann, Bryan Fuller, and my favorite Bollywood director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. You know these artists’ works when you see them. There is something so distinctly them about it. You can’t miss it. It permeates everything they do. I like to think their mind is colored very specifically.
I imagine specific objects popping into Wes Anderson’s head in monochromatically muted tones.
Neil Gaiman’s mind to be tinted in dark blues, thoughts swooping in and out like ghosts.
Rainbow Rowell’s to be filled with meaningful chatter and cast in pinks and yellows.
Baz Lurhmann’s mind must be bursting with fireworks and deep shades of red.
Bryan Fuller’s lavishly campy, layered, and bright.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s with rich textures and color, filled with songs just as vivid.
I strive to have vision as strong as theirs, to create a unique voice for myself. I keep a list of things I believe in tacked to the corkboard above my desk to remind me of this vision, hoping I can, even in the slightest way, achieve some cohesion to my work. In Austin Kleon's book (I can't remember which one specifically, but recommend them both), he says that what makes your work cohesive is simply the fact that you created it. Your own voice will lend itself to cohesion, even if it doesn't seem that way. Rainbow Rowell has said she thinks each of her books are wildly different from one another, yet I see strong cohesive vision there. So I hope Austin Kleon is right.
These great minds have given me the gift of cohesive vision and I hope that one day, people will be able to spot my work without seeing my name on it. One can dream.