During my Undergraduate years, I dabbled with quite a bit of poetry and especially the spoken word variety. One of the recurring ideas I used to think about during those days were about rhymes and how forced rhymes are really bad. As a Literature student, I also studied about rhythm and meter and I always found it difficult to reconcile these ideas and think about whether art needs rules. Here’s the question: Does art need structure? I don’t think there is a single answer to this question. And I am definitely no expert when it comes to art or writing. But here are a couple of interesting ideas to consider.
Isn’t it easier to build using lego blocks?
If you think about it, Lego blocks are highly limiting. You cannot create sculptures like you could out of sand. The reason is that the block itself is of an already made design and shape. You cannot change that design. In other words, it is pre-set. But if you go online and do a quick Google search, you can still find hundreds of extremely well designed art pieces or models using Lego blocks. Here’s another interesting insight – Lego blocks are easier for a beginner. For someone like me, sculpting sand is not really possible. Using Lego blocks, however, even I can build something that looks decent. So here is one way for me to think about the question: Till I am quite confident about my abilities, I should probably try mastering genres and pre-sets.
Jazz musicians break the rule after mastering the rules
A number of novice poetry writers often talk about using free verse and blank verse. Free verse and blank verse can be excellent tools of writing poetry. But I do wonder if it wouldn’t be better to first learn the structures before trying to break them. Take jazz musicians for example. The genre relies on breaking established conventions. However, most accomplished jazz musicians are those who are extremely familiar with the scales and the rules. So here’s another way to think about the question we began with: Am I breaking the rules because it makes my art better or am I doing so because it is easier for me?