The Writer vs The Artist (Spy vs Spy?)

I’m often asked which came first for me, writing or drawing? Or, more to the point, which one won out? Is one master over the other? Does this imply these creative pursuits are in competition?

In the French Impressionist period, when artists and writers met in their respective groups in the cafes of Paris, it was said neither group “understood” the other. They stayed apart because they were suspicious! Hmm... does that mean one part of me is suspicious of the other?

Maybe it’s like Spy vs Spy—if you’ve ever read Mad magazine?

For me, those two groups were different and yet amazingly the same, and writing and illustrating are more like equals, happy bedfellows, because they both endeavour to tell a story. Writers and artists are equally storytellers. One explores white paper by line, the other by word, and a well written story is as much about what you leave out as about what you put in, just as a good drawing is as much about what you leave out (or erase) as what you pencil in.

Just remember: If a picture can paint a thousand words.

A word can tweak a thousand pictures.


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