Zartperiodical. Z(oë)’s Art/Life periodically (sporadically) updated blog.
I’ve been avoiding you.
I made this blog to talk about art. But as I entered my third and final year of an undergraduate bachelors degree in the History of Art, it ceased to be the best outlet for me to talk about art. Essays have been my outlet for my thoughts on modern and contemporary art this year, and I’ve become rather good at writing them. I actually love writing them. Let’s discuss why anyone would love writing essays because I’m told it makes me a weirdo.
I get into a zone when I write. When I have a good idea, and I’ve figured out a solid structure for getting my idea across, I sit down, I open my laptop, and I just write. My heartbeat is raised, my fingers are furious, I feel the prickle of sweat under my arms and I find a focus that is unique to this zone – I can’t even get that kind of focus when I meditate. But it takes me an excruciatingly long time to get it all out, because… words. I leaf through the dictionary pages that I can visualise in my mind, hungry for the perfect word, devoted to every word that I put down. No words are interchangeable to me. They’re not used because they’re in my train of thoughts or because someone else made them work, they’re used because I chose them – each and every one. Synonyms frustrate me as I find myself feeling as though I’m proving the rule of six degrees of separation, each synonym taking me further from the form of a word in my mind whilst also looping around in circles. Plato was kind of simultaneously full of shit and a genius, but when he talks about ideal Form as different from physical form my mind jumps to how I feel about language. I have an idea in my head and it buzzes, it vibrates, it gives off light, I can visualise it as a squiggly ball of energy but only I know what it means. Then, I have to leaf through my mental dictionary (and sometimes a real one) to find the closest physical word. So words are both liberating and imprisoning. And the process of ‘translating’ idea into word, and ideas into essays, genuinely feels like a kind of spiritual process for me. So when I get it right, it’s just the best feeling in the world. And that’s why I love writing essays. Unfortunately, it means my biggest criticism is that the essays I produce are overly complicated and unnecessarily wordy. (I use 3 synonyms in a row, with commas, because each one isn’t perfect for me. But for the reader, I just repeat myself 3 times. Does that make sense?) Interestingly, what I’ve discovered is that the art is not actually what I love about the process of writing about art. Even though I love art.
Anyway, this love for words and for the process of writing is something that I’ve thought a lot about recently. The year since I made this blog, the final year of my Art History degree, has been an incredibly introspective time for me. I’ve grown more this year than I did in the 21 years leading up to it. (Blog post on that coming right up, strap yourself in). This year has led me to the realisation that I want to be a Creative in an advertising agency. Specifically, I want to write copy. Because I think my love for words – my devotion to finding the perfect ones, my genuine belief in the power of them, my almost maternal pride in them – is genuinely unique. Why not be a writer of books, or articles, or songs, or blogs…? Well, maybe those will come. But advertising is about words and it’s about images. You have a team: a copywriter and an art director. I have two loves: writing and art. (But as I said, not writing about art.) So, long story short, I think I was made for it.
One year on, and I’ve figured some stuff out, including my dream job. And now, since handing in my final, 10,000-word essay on the History of Art, I feel ready to write about something new. I feel like I have words bursting to come out of me. So, I’m finally ready for the blog I made a year ago and have ignored since. But it’s not going to be exclusively about art, it’s going to be about my life: advertising, art, adventures and introspection. And it’ll all be tied together with words.