This is a discussion that I was a part of this week; which point in a leg is the knee, is an ankle, is a hip, is a… you get the idea. It comes from a new project that I’m going to be teasing into the relatively near future. But today I’m going to talk about something different, today I’m going to talk about communicating your ideas before they’re done, and about being on the same page as a creative team.
I’m going to start with an example from elsewhere in this project, cause it is at the front of mind right now. We were talking about fashion, about eras of art and aesthetic. I brought up I wanted a renaissance look, compete with arquebusses and poofy collars (should that be arquebi? arquebis? autocorrect hates all of them). One of the artists, in a later conversation, referred to this as “you know, steampunk.”
I’m super happy we caught that early (for those not in the know, Steampunk is usually the Vicotrian era in style, or about 200-300 years distant from renaissance era), because that easily could’ve been a problem down the road. But it is a tricky thing that you need to make sure you catch early on, to make sure whenever possible you’re being proactive rather than reactive. That way you catch things like you saying something assuming the other part has all the proper context and software to parse what you’ve said, but in opening the file everything becomes garbled.
One of the biggest tricks I’ve found for communicating with artists is to use the language they’re most used too, art. I don’t know all the proper terms to be the best at that. I barely know my artistic styles apart, though I’m trying to learn. Instead, the hack I’ve found is to send and hyperlink images and visual references and cues to as much as I can find to help convey my vision.
That gives them more to work with than trying to parse my descriptions. It can be so easy for two of us to read the same piece of prose and come away with drastically different images of what has happened. That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. The problem when you’re working with others is that errors that arise from this can create countless additional problems as you continue to work.
So, as so often is my suggestion, communicate. Talk. Discuss. Debate! Argue and hash out and make the best art you can.