Dali for Writers: Part I

I’ve been reading about Salvador Dali, and I recently picked up one of his books to learn more about his thought process and practice. As I read, I found that much about painting could be said for writing, or any creative outlet. Here, I have taken Dali’s Ten Rules for the painter, and took the liberty of shaping it for the writer. While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the statements, the list offers fundamental advice for artists of any medium. The following is from Salvador Dali’s book 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship.

Ten Rules for him they who wishes to be a painter writer:

  1. Painter Writer, it is better to be rich than poor; so learn how to make gold and precious stones come out of your brush pen.
  2. Don’t be afraid of perfection: you’ll never attain it!
  3. Begin by learning to draw read and paint write like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you.
  4. Don’t throw to the dogs either your eye or your hand or your brain, for you will need them all if you are to be a painter writer.
  5. If you are one of those who believe that modern art has surpassed Vermeer Shakespeare and Raphael Whitman, don’t read this book, just go right on in your blissful idiocy.
  6. Don’t vomit on your picture manuscript, because it is the picture manuscript which can vomit on you after you are dead.
  7. No lazy masterpieces!
  8. Painter Writer, paint write!
  9. Painter Writer, don’t drink alcohol, and chew hashish only five times in your life.
  10. If painting writing doesn’t love you, all your love for her will be unavailing.

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