Sunday, December 4, 2011
Neil Gaiman Talks to Shaun Tan
|From The Guardian: Illustrator, author and Oscar-winning film-maker Shaun Tan (left), with Neil Gaiman. Photograph: Colin McPherson|
If you are a fan of Shaun Tan and Neil Gaiman, then you must read a conversation between the two in The Guardian. The two met this year at the Edinburgh book festival where Shaun was teaching a masterclass.
I particularly like the following exchange in which they are talking about writing as a way to find out what you think about something:
NG: I'm going to learn something I didn't know when I began. I'm going to discover how I feel and what I think about it during the process. I will break off little bits of my head and they will become characters and things will happen and they will talk to each other.
ST: Exactly, creating a character is like impersonating another being, so that you can find out what you think about something. You really find out what your style is when you diversify – setting something in a fictional landscape, the far future or distant past. A lot of people think of style or personality in terms of things you do often, but it's not really. It's what you do under duress, or outside of yourself. I don't feel I know myself really well because – again it's that emotional thing – sometimes I feel a little embarrassed by the amount of emotion that comes out in a story. I don't realise that there's so much of it locked up or in denial and then it comes out in the process of doing this conscious dreaming exercise.
NG: I love your stuff because you're never told what the emotion is. You get to feel it on your own and you get to discover the emotions along the way.