The Impossibility of Silence: Writing for Designers, Artists & Photographers


How to write about your art: a guidebook for artists, designers and photographers

Despite the seemingly common expectation that art should be able to speak for itself, creators are often asked to explain the process behind their work, their experiences in their vocation, and, perhaps most dauntingly, the meaning conveyed by any particular piece. Drawing upon his own unique career trajectory across multiple fields as a writer, designer and teacher, Tokyo-based artist Ian Lynam offers readers a variety of approaches to writing about creative fields.

Called "the Hunter S. Thompson of design writing," Lynam uses his industry knowledge and sharp sense of humor to convey his philosophy on writing specifically in a professional creative setting. This volume is not so much a straightforward how-to guide on how to write an artist's statement as it is an honest meditation on how difficult—and how important—it is for creators to have the facilities to articulate the ethos behind their own work.

Lynam encourages readers to think of the blank page as another sort of canvas, a space of potential, a landscape on which an artist may explore themselves and their work farther than they thought possible. Lynam provides both inspirational text as a jumping-off point for readers as well as concrete techniques in terms of craft.

“Lynam is a bitingly humorous writer—gifted with the intuition to give stories depth.” —Lars Harmsen, Slanted Magazine

"Lynam adeptly juggles platters of diverse knowledge that include history, theory, philosophy, humanities, and the gamut of pop culture.”
—Louise Sandhaus, graphic designer and author of Earthquakes Mudslides Fires & Riots: California & Graphic Design, 1936-1986

Designed by Ian Lynam

Edited by Ian Lynam and Taro Nettleton

Published by Onomatopee, 2021

Softcover, 212 pages, 4.2 × 6.9 inches

ISBN: 978-9-49-314839-0

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