A brainstorming tool, a name generator, and a blog filled with useful articles. (No particular order of preference)
1. Telescopic Text
I was moved to write today’s post when this site helped me dramatically revitalize my artist statement a few hours ago. The link opens in a new tab, but I’m happy to describe the site if you’d rather stay here.
The site is very minimalistic. The most prominent feature on the mostly blank page is a simple sentence. “I made tea.” But each word is highlighted in light gray. Clicking on highlighted words will expand them into more words, some of which may also be highlighted. “I made a cup of tea.” A few clicks later: “Yawning, I made myself a nice cup of strong tea.” When there are no more clickable words, the page will be covered in words.
At the bottom right corner is a link to make your own telescopic text. Type a sentence. Click on a word. Type the text that it will expand to. Click on another word.
My artist statement makeover
When I first found Telescopic Text, I played with the tea story, bookmarked the site, and forgot about it…until I realized how much it could help me with my artist statement.
I arrived with two things: My tagline and my old artist statement. My tagline, “Fantasy-inspired art jewelry”, is pretty solid, but my artist statement was a scattered, disjointed collection of an otherwise decent way to describe my artistic vision and mission statement.
I typed “fantasy inspired art jewelry” into Telescopic Text and expanded it phrase by phrase, using all the material from my scattered artist statement. Once all the pieces had been put back together, I went from this:
Using wire and small objects, I give form to
imagination and daydreams. I express the beauty
of spontaneity. I find magic and awe in
everyday objects and scenes…
and then I highlight it.
I’m inspired by magic and high-fantasy.
I like calm, analogous color schemes and
twisting, spiralling lines.
Magic and high fantasy inspire me to find
beauty and awe in everyday objects and scenes.
Capturing that wonder,
and adding chaos and spontaneity, I create
abstract art jewelry, hoping to inspire you
toward imagination and reverie.
2. Fantasy Name Generator
The basic generator lets you pick typical options such as “short”, “long”, “vowel-heavy”, but the advanced generator not only shares how it generates such specific names, but invites you to customize your own.
It’s a little confusing at first, but if you have the time to figure it out, it will quite possibly become your most useful name generator for getting the perfect name from very specific instructions.
Let’s see… how about a name beginning with “Lo” that starts out soft, but ends on a harsh or abrupt syllable.
So I type “(Lo)VcVC” which is composed of:
-Letters in parentheses, which will stayconstant
-V stands for a random vowel or vowel combination
-Lowercase c stands for just one random consonant
-(Another random vowel or vowel combination)
-Uppercase C stands for a random consonant or combination.
Then I browse through the results, looking for particularly abrupt ending consonants. Out of over 100 names on the page, only three look really good:
I discard “Lousit” because it sounds like “lose it” and refresh the page a few times to get hundreds more results.
Loeeyiac (Interesting, but how do you even pronounce that?)
Loanit (Nope, sounds like I just smushed “Loan it” together and tried to pass it off as a name.)
I like the last one. Also Loerok or Loedoc from the first round.
3. Superhero Nation
Novels and comics about superheros aren’t my artistic calling, even if I wanted to be a writer or comic artist, but when I first found this website, I couldn’t stop reading it! The advice and tips are so helpful and well-reasoned, that they can apply to any kind of writing. Even artist statements! (My decision to use the word “you” instead of “people” in my new artist statement came from a guest post I browsed while stopping by for the link.)
Unlike a lot of blogs, they have a nice big list of their favorite/most useful posts on the left sidebar.
I really want to go into more detail and list a few of their most awesome posts, but there’s so much good material there, I’d barely be scratching the surface.
Did you explore any of the sites? Share your telescoped text, generated names, and writing breakthroughs in the comments.