Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dare I Admit It?

by Gigi

Deep breath. Here goes: I'm not really a writer.

OK, it's part of who I am. I write mystery novels, sure. But "writer" doesn't sum up my creative identity.

I should have realized it much earlier than I did, but after a brief detour in academia, I finally followed the creative path: I started taking art school classes, spent countless hours in the darkroom, and wrote a novel. So where does that leave me? I'm now a graphic designer, photographer, and mystery writer.

And you know what? These things don't seem like separate pursuits to me.

When I take my camera out and capture a cool scene (like this raven here), I imagine where it might fit into a story.

Not only did I leave the Brompton Cemetery with some ethereal photos taken with the new soft focus lens I was learning to use, but it was an overcast day and I was nearly alone aside from the birds... yeah, I left with some inspiration for a story.

I admit that's only two out of three. Photography and writing. Bringing all three creative pursuits together is the physical form of books themselves. My favorite art school class was Book Cover Design.

I've always loved book covers, but that class was when I started envisioning book covers myself (at right). I especially loved using my own photos and collage art to create a book cover, whenever appropriate, since that allowed me the most flexibility to create exactly what I imagined when reading a book.

I'm a graphic designer for my day job, but not designing book covers. If I ever discover more hours in the day, I would still love to be a book cover designer.

But even without a particular end goal, I can't really stop myself from mashing up these creative outlets.

Here's Dorian the gargoyle at left, imagining a scene from a gothic novel as I envisioned it in a larger photographic collage.


Unknown said...

I think we all suffer from 'not-really-a-writer-itis' depending on the day :) Love that Dorian.... you may need to hide her if I come to visit.

Adrienne Bell said...

Oh, oh...I LOVE cemetery pictures. A hold over from my goth days I'm sure. You'll have to show them off next time we're together.

Unknown said...

Gigi -- love your photographs! You're truly a creative soul!!!

Do you think folks without any particular gift for visual art can learn basic skills? Or at least learn how to see composition? The word was the beginning and the end in my house growing up, but I'd love to be able to sketch an idea or improve composing in the frame of the photograph...

Sophie Littlefield said...

speaking of photos, i think that one of *you* is my favorite yet. totally captures your gigi-ness :)

Gigi Pandian said...

Mysti -- I definitely think people can learn, but we all need to find the best outlets for ourselves. Personally, drawing isn't my strong suit, so I've accepted my limitations as an illustrator and focus instead on other venues of creative expression.

Glad to see another fan of cemetery photos :)

As for the photo of me, everyone should check out the fantastic work of photographer Michael B. Woolsey, who I'm fortunate enough to work with at my day job: