Which came first, the story or the art?

So, which came first—the story or the art? Honestly, I wish I knew.

In my world, creativity is the root of all chaos.

When I draw—stories begin to form. The stories often tie together various pieces of art I’ve worked on to create complete adventures. I find myself wanting to sit at the computer and start typing out my next book.

When I write—the images are so strong in my mind that I too often find myself walking away from my computer and over to my drawing table to begin sketching new ideas.

It occurred to me that I might not be the only person with this problem. Distractions—even if other than drawing and writing—are a real problem when you’re sitting down and working on a project. So, what do you do? This is my solution….

Let the distractions happen. Heck, you’re being pulled away from something other than the project you’re working on. That means you probably need to walk away from the project—but only for a short time.

When you work it is important to make an environment that is conducive to productivity. Music in the background (if that helps you) or silence. Surround yourself with pictures and trinkets if they help you get in the spirit of what you’re doing. Whatever it takes to get the creative juices moving and to keep you as focused as possible. But, ultimately you will get distracted. Hopefully you’ve gotten a good bit done before this occurs. I suggest walking away from your work for a short time to clear your head, refocus and then get back to the project.

For me, that usually means going from my art and writing down a few notes about the story that popped into my brain while I was drawing or doing a quick sketch of the art I pictured while writing. But it could also be as simple as doing some quick surfing of the Internet or getting up to get something to drink (non-alcoholic).

If you’ve done everything you can to get yourself focused on your work and are serious about getting your project finished, then distractions are often your brains way of saying it needs a break. I believe it’s important to listen to your mind and let it rest for a short time and then convince it you need to get back to work.

So, I guess it doesn’t matter if the story or the art came first—so long as together they hatch something beautiful.