Impressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism

Write Like an Impressionist

In art, Impressionism is not trying to capture an accurate reflection of real life. Instead, it focuses on how the artist perceives the scene. The artist is the filter or the lens through which we observe and sense the world. The result is a subjective, unique interpretation of the subject. It tells us something about the artist as much as it describes the scene they have captured.

Be an Impressionist in the content you create. Don’t settle with the dry, accurate, and allegedly objective subject description. Bring your own impression — your insights, thoughts, and opinions — to the front. The factual information is important and has value to the audience, but unless it is radically new, your unique contribution and your own voice are not apparent in it.

When you write like an Impressionist, you still provide the audience with valuable information, but you do so through your lens. You share your unique perspective. What you write becomes a reflection of you. You don’t just connect your audience to some idea — you create a connection between your audience and you.

Write Like a Cubist

Before Cubism was invented, paintings have always captured a scene from a single point of view. What you see on the canvas is a reflection or an interpretation of what the artist saw, standing in one place and observing the subject.

Cubism radically changed that by allowing the artist to capture multiple perspectives and points of view within the same painting. A Cubist artwork often looks like a fragmented collage, with distinct, unnatural transitions between planes and perspectives. The result, however, is captivating. Even the plainest subject is turned into a fascinating landscape you can explore and continually discover new insights.

When you write like a Cubist, you never settle with one perspective. Highlighting different points of view on the subject makes it multi-dimensional. Short, catchy messages might be more popular, but discussing real-world issues requires more depth, and your audience will appreciate it.

Presenting different perspectives doesn’t mean you lose your voice. Like a Cubist painter, you should strive to deliver a coherent idea built on these different perspectives. When you manage to do that, you create a playground for your audience to explore instead of feeding them with a shallow, unidimensional view of the topic.

Write Like a Surrealist

Professional content tends to stick with the known and possible. We tend to write about things we have experienced or are experiencing while speculating to some extent about the future. We usually don’t write about the improbable.

And maybe this is why surrealism can be a fantastic tool to emphasize the point we are trying to make. Imagining the improbable creates an experience. It is playful and engaging. But that’s only part of it. The fantastic can highlight aspects of the idea or concept we try to convey. By portraying a surreal picture, the obvious and reasonable becomes more potent and vivid. Simply put, we no longer take it for granted.

An effective application of surrealism should be carefully planned. You should consider what aspects will be stretched to the improbable domain and which will be fixed in the known reality. You should verify that the impact of the surreal picture you portray is the impact you wish to create and strengthen the message you aim to convey.

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yellow spice version: 2022.05.0017

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