What If Metropolis? - OGR


  1. OGR 06/11/2014

    Hi Ella,

    Okay - just from a writer's point of view, your travelogue is largely unintelligible; you create some wonderful poetic imagery and a captivating sense of strangeness, but as I expressed at the last crit, I'm actually more keen that you try and state things more plainly and seek to connect with new audiences. This sounds negative, I'm sure, but I'm just being honest. As a reader, I was lost and I began to lose interest, because I couldn't share your vision adequately. I wanted to learn much more about a city, but that information wasn't there. There is almost a sense that you're trying too hard when you write, almost cluttering your vision with cleverness, when a perfectly expressed metaphor or single image would be preferable. The truth is, I don't actually understand much of what you've written - and I reckon I'm quite a clever guy ;)

    You've made some lovely work in response to Lustig's covers - and your research is top-notch, but I'm confused about your city - this red orb (or pomegranate - this is your second pomegranate reference you know!) that floats above everything else. I don't want you to get fixed on this orb, because I'd like to see you investigate more complexity and variance now; drill down further; reject this idea, try another one. I can't help notice the arrival of your beaked character, and a slow creep (however artfully produced) back towards what is surely your comfort zone. I want you in simple terms to tell me again about your city; I want to understand it - and I want to be satisfied that you can communicate to different audiences (i,e, to me). I also want more design; more complexity, more intricacy in terms of understanding the mechanics of your structures etc and less time spent using character to create that complexity. I want to see it in front of me - in the design work - not get told about it or have characters express it.

    Yes - I'm pushing you here - and I'm pushing you to communicate more plainly and to commit greater detail to your city; at the moment, you don't so much have a metropolis, as a single red pomegranate! I think we need to understand a little more and be shown a little more - onwards, Ella! You draw quickly, you draw fast and you're very talented, but is this yet the most interesting Lustig-inspired 'metropolis' of which you're capable? Convince me, because I'm not quite there yet... I want to see more of this city - and however fantastical - I want it to 'feel' like one.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I must have gotten carried away with writing and forgot to read it through in terms of it being understandable. I'll try to simplify and provide more useful info rather than "fluffy abstract" things. As for trying too hard, that might be possible! I've got a problem with having random words come into my head regardless of whether I know what they mean or not. (Tryin' to work on that.)

      I'm a little relieved you would like me to reject the idea of the pomegranate - thing. It started to become troublesome to work with, actually!

      A simpler travelogue stripped of characters (and the poor orb :( ) coming right up! The point about myself having characters doing the describing for me rather than having effective design language is definitely something I'll keep in mind to address.

    2. Hey Ella,

      Don't misunderstand my feedback - there's a lot you do well that I'm already taking for granted; there's lots you do that is great and accessible and engaging, but I am pushing you to think about what others need from your work above and beyond what satisfies you personally. It sounds mean, I guess, or restrictive, but in truth, it's actually about having the freedom to be genuinely flexible. In terms of the travelogue - I want you to commit to more content, plainly communicated, which gives you more specific material to work with. I know you can do poetry. I know you love language - again, this is all good - but I want something else from you too! I know, I know, I'm horrible ;)

    3. Nono, I honestly appreciate everything and don't see it as mean at all. I don't often get criticism when I know very well I need it. Gotta have someone challenging my stubbornness!