“‘…The human form in all its complexity is not the easiest thing to re-create. It is hard to catch a likeness of a person unless the artist knows the person very well. That’s why, once you find someone whose likeness you’ve mastered, it’s hard to let them go.’”—Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (2012 Scholastic Writing Awards Juror)
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”—Franz Kafka (via writingquotes)
“When you write, it’s like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity. Your fingers have still not perfected the task. Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light. Like the diverse women of your family. Those whose fables and metaphors, whose similes and soliloquies, whose diction and je ne sais quoi daily slip into your survival soup, by way of their fingers.”—Edwidge Danticat (2012 Scholastic Writing Awards Juror)
“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. This is what I’ve always thought meant to be a writer. Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.”—Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work (Toni Morrison Lecture) by Edwidge Danticat (2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards juror)
Create your own story to this work of art, and share it with us here!
Activity 2: Before and After
Take a few moments to look at this piece closely and consider the following questions: What happened before the moment depicted in this work of art? What will happen next? If there is a conflict or problem in the story, how will it be resolved? What do you see that informs your ideas? Why do you think the artist chose to depict this moment in the story?
Great writers are great observers. They consider the world around them, notice overlooked details, and make connections. Looking carefully at art helps us to develop these observation skills.
Try the following activity to discover how art can challenge and inspire us to become more observant, articulate, and engaged writers (and share your responses here!):
Activity 1: Color Description
Select a color in this work of art. Begin with the basic name of the color (for example, yellow, red, blue), then work to refine its description. To further describe the color you have chosen, discuss the following: What does it remind you of? Where does it occur in nature? What other objects are that color? What mood or feeling does the color create? Use these words to create a unique phrase describing this color. Several phrases can be used together to create a collaborative poem.