Double Rant? Useful/ Useless Writing Advice and Art on TV (Besides Bob Ross)

I don’t know if what follows is really a rant or not. I’m not in the ranting mood, to be honest. But bear with me, because I do want to touch on these two issues that have been bugging me for a while now. First, I’ll start with my main annoyance with the plethora of writing advice on the net. In the second, I’ll shift gears and explore some of my issues with television and web based art instruction.

Advice and Time

It seems the internet, or at least the parts of it I occupy, is awash with various advice sites, blogs, posts, etc. intending to give the writer’s advice on how to write. Now, I do admit some of the advice is useful. But a lot of it is just trash. And the really frustrating thing is that it takes valuable time to sift through the crap to find the gems.

I, and I suspect most writers, don’t have the time to waste going through every blog, site, post, book, video, etc. that imparts someone’s wisdom and advice on the art of writing. Like too much research, seeking advice can prevent a writer from doing the one thing that is guaranteed to help improve their writing- actually writing.

But, advice can be highly useful, too. So what should be done? Find a balance that allows for artistic growth without becoming so bogged down that no progress is made.

The Ghost of Bob Ross

Here’s a secret: I love watching art and sewing instructional programming.  Every Sunday afternoon, I plop down to watch Knitting Daily and Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting among others. I also catch the repeats of Bob Ross’s seminal The Joy of Painting on Create.

My issue, and maybe this is one that should be taken up with my local PBS station, is that there is remarkably few art instructional programs. Rather, the majority of hobby and crafting shows aired on my local PBS (KNCT) are devoted to the needle arts and woodworking. And Create only airs Joy, Schewee Art Workshop, and The Donna Dewberry Show. KNCT itself only airs one art instructional program (which I don’t like). That’s it.

I want more. I want series like The Yarnell School of Fine Art which paints a single painting over the course of several episodes. One of the tragedies of losing KWBU (the now defunct Waco PBS station).

This is where the internet is such a useful thing. On Youtube, I’ve discovered the Artist’s Network channel, which has several interesting previews (if only they also showed the full videos). And I’m a long time subscriber of Mark Crilley’s excellent channel. Plus, Yarnell has a website that includes videos.

But, to be honest, I want more. I want to find more sites and sources for how to draw comics, how to paint with pastels, and more painting shows.

This is, obviously, where the internet can become a pain. Oftentimes, it is a trial to track some of this stuff down. I don’t know if Youtube has finally added a how to or crafting designation. And looking for other sites that feature how to videos is rather annoying. And of course there is always the question of quality.. .

Persistence is, I guess, all one can hope for in this search. Like most of the things I’m interested, the internet is a great resource. But, it can take so much valuable time to sift through the crap to find the gems.

And Finally,

Look for the review of The Dark Knight Rises either tomorrow or Sunday. I may also touch on my thoughts about the Nolan Batman films (as well as the earlier films).

And I’m still aiming at doing a comic book post. Maybe next week. I don’t know if I’ll focus on what I’m reading, DC vs. Marvel, or my general thoughts on comics, comics writing, and corporate vs. creator owned. Then again, next week could just be Comic Book Week One.


Posted on July 20, 2012, in Books, T.V. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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