Mixing art and writing – can it be done?

Ruth HartleyComic Strip, Film, Graphic Novel, Visual Arts1 Comment

Hello again! How many of you do what I try to do? My website — the one you are looking at now — is about both my art and my writing. The fact that they are both on my website and mixed together in my work is something I take for granted these days but I didn’t always. Maybe some of you have experienced the same doubts about mixing art and writing together?

Illustrated verse from a poem The Road by Ruth Hartley

I hope this post will raise questions.

For some of you making art and mixing it with writing stories may just be what you do anyway — either as separate activities or as part of the same creative endeavour. You may be a reader, or interested, or know a lot about the idea.

Films and animations join art and stories

My guess is that people who work in animations, bande dessinée, film, graphic novels, cartoons and comics will not see any separation between art and writing even when it requires different people working as a team to produce the result. The thing is when I was really young – at school and art school – I was made to feel that mixing my passions together was a weakness Though I wanted to do both writing and painting I was told I had to make a choice. It was greedy to want to do both. It was a sign that I lacked focus and I would never be good at either.

Dividing up art and writing

Is this division and the necessity to choose between art and writing something that other creative people experience? Should it be like that?

It may just have affected my generation but I am curious about it. I know so many people who, like me, do both. I hope that what I am writing about in this post means something to you too. We all know of artists, writers and illustrators who do both together. What do readers think?

Liberating art and stories

Charcoal sketch of grey granite rocks and tree with the sky above filled with flying insects and the words of the poem in red

The Rocks illustrated poem by Ruth Hartley

I experienced a real sense of freedom – a liberation – when I finally decided that I would do both to the best of my ability.

Was the insistence on separating art and writing and choosing between them designed to make me fit into a particular slot for work so I’d be more efficient at earning a living? Do artists and writers make much money anyway?

That will have to be another post from me on another week.

One Comment on “Mixing art and writing – can it be done?”

  1. John Corley

    Don’t worry about mixing up Art and Writing. Our local village every year has a Festival devoted to Art and Rugby.

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