When Inspiration Attacks

crocodileI’d wager the first thing you thought when you saw this picture wasn’t to wonder what species of water fern is growing in the background. Some images evoke potent reactions. My central nervous system, excited by some primordial instinctive reaction,  recognized two things:
1. That is one big ass predatory crocodile.
2. Humans and crocodiles are not meant to inhabit the same water. 

We all  have our triggers. I get all gooey about babies, especially the fresh brand new ones. Sure, I have various irritability prompts too, but the point is – we react to visual stimulation. In fact, upon viewing the croc, my legs went weak. A literal physiological response to a powerful sight. 

Photographers strive to capture the perfect moment to produce a stimulus in much the same way writers search for the one perfect word to provoke an image. Artists work at the same business. Visual literacy contributes strongly to our comprehension of ideas and fear is a powerful motivator. As writers we manipulate worries and concerns to provoke ideas and sensations in our readers. This is both fun and sadistic.

Here are a few inspiring links for the weekend. Enjoy!

1. Leaf Cut Art

2. Pencil Tip Art

3. Words to Live By

4. Yarn Bombing & Guerilla Crochet

5. Double Exposure Portraits

blue question markWhat do images evoke for you? How do visuals inspire your work? Do you write what you see?

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  1. #1 by jennifer tanner on September 10, 2011 - 12:35 am

    Hola Lesann!I'm into visual aids! Sometimes, I'll even map out a house or a room before I start writing a scene. I've torn out pages from magazines of models, rooms, clothing…whatever helps me get those words on a page.

  2. #2 by Lesann Berry on September 10, 2011 - 1:43 am

    Hey Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by. Visual aids are a tremendous help to me as well. I love mapping out stories and environments (literally) and was forced to create an actual floorplan once when I realized the plot needed access to a second story roof that was inaccessible. Those pesky details. Glad to know I'm not alone!

  3. #3 by Tameri Etherton on September 10, 2011 - 3:32 am

    That snake freaks me out. I don't care if it's marble, every time I see it, my heart races and I want to close the window. And yeah, I'm with you on that huge crocodile-thing. Whoa. I use pictures of models/actors that I think look similar to my characters and also I'll print out landscapes and buildings that spark my imagination for my world. Since I'm writing fantasy right now, the crazier, the better. Sometimes I'll watch an entire movie and realize I don't know what happened because I was plotting in my mind using some of the visuals from the movie. Like in Thor I thought, you know, my world doesn't need to be round, it could be any shape I like. And then I had to stop thinking and watch the movie because Thor is so dreamy.

  4. #4 by Lesann Berry on September 10, 2011 - 4:07 am

    When I realized the snake wasn't real, I thought wow…that's pretty darn convincing. I usually collect pictures of body parts (that sounds lot more gruesome than it is) out of magazines for character development. This pair of eyes, and that hair, and those handss, etc….until I have a more concrete visual of what I'm looking for.I confess I haven't seen Thor – every time I see a preview I think: hey, it's Captain Kirk's dad! lol

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