I posted this on Twitter this morning:
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) September 9, 2016
Since my Tweets automatically post to Facebook also, Kathryn responded there with this:
… explaining that it was “A painting I have.”
I responded that the painter and I had the same impulse — but mine was easier to indulge. Kathryn responded, “True, but she got paid for hers….”
Ah, true enough. But there’s something lacking in me that prevents me from engaging in such fruitful work. Things don’t interest me long enough.
I see something like that, and for a moment I’m fascinated. In fact, I was being quite rude taking the picture at all. I was interviewing Micah Caskey, checking in to see how his election campaign is coming (I’ll write a short post about that later) … when I said, “Excuse me,” and took this picture.
But then, I’m satisfied to capture it and move on.
I sort of have the same problem with other things.
Take the Power Failure project I conceived and directed at The State back when I was in the newsroom. Just putting the plan together took a couple of months of work. I had to get the full project in my head, as one holistic thing, before I could start. Then, I closed myself in an office and spent a day writing the “budget” — newspaper term for a list of stories — all at once. In that budget I gave short synopses of a planned 92 stories spread over 17 installments.
Then, in the initial installment, I set out all the major points that would be made in the other 16. And then it was VERY hard for me to do the second installment. Because once I had it all in my head, and had explained the basic concepts, I was ready to move on to something else. I had lost interest, and doing the hard work of fleshing out all those other installments just seemed overwhelmingly tedious to me. I’d said it. Why say it again?
Anyway, the thought of turning that iPhone shot into a painting feels the same way.
I like to see something interesting, point it out, and move on. Which is why I was suited to newspaper work. Or blogging, I guess.
OK, I’m bored with this now (and you were several minutes ago). Let’s move on…