May 22, 2014

I found many articles on the web saying that, to become a better writer, we need to read a lot. On its face, this advice sounds reasonable and obvious, but just think of how many photographs and graphic designs we all see every day; does that make us better photographers or designers? Not really. I don’t think it’s about the amount but about HOW we read, see, or listen. 

Also, when people talk about “good” writer, they are referring to the standards of the professional writers, like journalists. In the visual fields, graphic designers are generally more talented and skilled than fine artists. Designers are more versatile and are able to emulate many different styles. On the other hand, most fine artists are terrible designers, lacking the basic skills of formal beauty. Fine artists are interested in acquiring only the skills needed to express themselves. They do not have much incentive to be versatile. But the beauty in fine arts is much deeper than it is in graphic design. This too casts doubt on the advice that I should read more to be a “better” writer.