Current third year playwright Tyler Whidden just wrote a fun and informative article about Van Gogh’s life as an artist and what writers today can learn from it! The article was written for Goddard’s alumni blog. One of the points Tyler brings up is how Van Gogh tried to bring a voice to the voiceless with his art and how writers should examine the value in that as well:
Sometimes, writers tend to try to imagine and portray worlds and people with whom they have no real relationship. There are times when we shy away from writing what we know and try to paint foreign (to ourselves as individuals) backdrops with characters who would never invite us to their parties. Which is fine – to a point.
Don’t reject the tremendous amount of influence you were given by the people you grew up with: neighbors, relatives, community members, etc. Who you are as a person and as an artist / writer, is directly related to the influence by those around you – even those you may not have had direct contact with.
Like Van Gogh choosing to bring peasants to the forefront of his work, you too can paint the “average, hard-working, Everyman” (or, whatever descriptives you would choose) within your own life. Chances are, you wouldn’t be who you are without them.
This article rocks!! You can read the full article here
More about Tyler
Tyler Whidden was born and raised in Cleveland, OH where he grew up the least-talented son of a hockey-first family. After earning his BFA in Playwriting at Ohio University, he began a tragic career as a stand-up comic based out of Seattle, WA. As a comedian, Tyler was labeled by critics and fans alike as, “hilarious,” “tragic,” and “probably stoned.” After years of toiling on the road, he moved to Chicago where he returned to theater, studying and working with Victory Gardens and the Neo-Futurists theaters among many others. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and worked as Director of Education with the great Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland. His play Dancing With N.E.D. has seen productions in New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington. His family-friendly farce, The Unofficial Almost True Campfire Tales of Put-in-Bay was commissioned by the Put-in-Bay Arts Council as part of their Bicentennial Celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie in the Summer of 2013 and his one-act play, Detour, was part of the “Truck Stop Plays” production in Chicago. He is currently an Instructor at Ohio University and at Southern New Hampshire University and lives in Athens, Ohio, with his beautiful wife, Angie — who is way out of his league — and their beautiful boy, Booker — who is Tyler’s intellectual equal.