When Art And Words Collide

What happens when art and words collide?

Today’s guest post is from photographer and illustrator, James Clancy.

My love of all things literary began with this verse from William Wordsworth: ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils.’

For as long as I can remember, old wisdoms, verses, and inspirational quotes were something I held onto. I lived a pretty isolated existence in my early years in the Irish countryside with only books of fairy tales, poetry and short stories for company. My mother spouted daily wisdoms from a life lived, and in a way, I feel they have provided me with guidance for my own life, in the good times and the not so good.

As I got older the desire to go out into the world, to define myself, to establish who I was and to identify the values that underpinned my life, grew.

Besides recording this journey in writing and reading the printed verses, pictures have always been important in my life. These have mainly been inspired by classic photography and cinema. My camera is my trusted companion, and I always carry a scrap of paper with an ink pen to sketch an idea when it springs to mind.

The process of creativity always begins within, by putting oneself in a place where inspiration meets (or sometimes collides) with creativity. This presents many questions: What is the feeling of the moment? What has piqued your interest in a subject? What is it in a text that never caught your attention before, but now resonates with you and becomes something you hold onto for the rest of your life? How do you proceed from there? Where to next?

Wherever I travel, I always visit bookshops, especially the used, second-hand kind. Beyond the smells and the seeming disorder lie treasures in abundance. Writers like Beckett, Goethe, Hemingway, Thoreau and Wilde provide direction.

In these pages I find lines of text that stay with me. Over time they prove to be an inspiration. They provide me with ideas for these illustrations – the words become the narrative for the image. The visuals come from photographs taken in moments of the little dramas and beauties of everyday living. Together, they engage the mind and the eye in unison.

My literary art prints are the result.

 by James Clancy

James Clancy is a photographer and an illustrator from Ireland living in Berlin. Find out more about him by visiting his website. His prints are available here. Follow James on Twitter.

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Posted on: 6th November 2015