Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Q is for Quintessential
Quintessential is one of my favorite words. When people/artists have a clear and relatable quintessence, they become the people that you can never forget, that you seem to be reminded of all the time.
What are some examples of quintessential? Long, seemingly endless codas are quintessential Beethoven. Crazy hair and bursting entrances are quintessential Kramer. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are quintessential jazz artists. Jane Austen is the quintessential romance novelist, and Steven King is the same for horror.
What do all these have in common? They are originators and very recognizable. You could recognize Kramer just by the way he twitches his shoulders, and know Louis' voice on the radio within a few notes. I think there are three things you have to do as an artist to become quintessential.
1) You have to stop trying to be anyone else.
2) You have to be a very strong version of yourself. That entails knowing who "you" is.
3) You have to not be afraid to try something new, break new ground.
We all have it in us to become one of "those" people, if we just keep working on it. So happy writing!