Poetry of the pen and the brush

by Kaija on Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Posted in: Uncategorized
3 Comments on Poetry of the pen and the brush

I’ve been trying to understand why it is that I prefer working traditionally instead of digitally. Over the years I’ve heard arguments one way or the other, none of them ever hitting home for me. That is probably because an argument isn’t a good way to approach the subject of two tools that have no innate value, other than the people wielding them.

But still, I feel I personally have a preference, and I have wanted to explain it to myself. I arrived at an answer that somewhat satisfied me. It is a rather ambiguous answer to a strong feeling-based preference.

The digital mediumĀ has much good to offer. There is the accessibility created by no cost after the initial investment. The faster process and shareability. A completely new set of tools that open a new realm of exploration.

But there is a poetry to working with traditional tools, that I feel missing in digital. The poetry doesn’t lie in the final result or in it’s value. Neither of these tools should have any considerable impact on an individual’s creativity, no more than having a preference of working with oil paint over acrylics for example. It is no more, than an individual preference and the subsequent ease of working that comes with one choice or another. Neither tool will impact the content of a person’s ideas or creativity either. So no, I don’t feel like either tool is better or more valuable.

The poetry of working traditionally comes in the form of mortality and emotional investment. Mortality, finality, corruption of the blank page with marks that will last only as long as the page survives. The care put into handling it and lenghtening it’s life cycle. The reverence you feel when you hold this, in all probability, flawed creation. This romantic finality is completely missing from digital medium.

Add the tangibility of the weight in your hands, the variety of real textures, the choice of materials. The smells that make you suddenly notice your environment more acutely than you have for ages.

I feel it all adds up to something emotionally real and present.