Tips on How To Be Lyrical


When you type "lyrical" in Google, this will come up:

Yes, "lyrical" doesn't always mean the lyrics of a song, but it also a verb, to express emotions with an imagination and beautiful way. Both words and feeling can influence you to make an art, a real prove of your emotions. I like to call myself a "lyrical photographer" because in that way, I will always remind myself to express my ideas, my emotions, in a beautiful and full of imagination into my art.

Maybe some of you are still confused, then what's the difference between this kind of art with a conceptual art?

Well... In my opinion, conceptual art is more about you pick a certain concept or a certain idea and make it into an artwork.

Something like this?

Tree Face by Yannis Koutras

Some artworks have an obvious message that the artist wants to deliver or portray to the audience. Although, conceptual art is also a good way to express your emotions into an imagery.

Now, how this lyrical art works?

Since it's "lyrical", there are two kinds of artwork: a single piece of art that express the overall feeling or a series of pictures that represent each of the ideas that we want to portray. Most of my lyrical works are based on songs (obviously). Not only based on the lyrics, but also on the overall vibe of the song, the feeling that you get from it.

Still remember my Late Night Tales from 2013?

I still remember, that time, I was so obsessed with To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra in one of the Step-Up movies. After I searched for more, I fell in love with their music style. So I was thinking to make a series of single artwork, as a tribute, based on their songs and use their album title as the title of the series too, Late Night Tales. As you can see from the series, each artwork represents what is in the song, either containing the same imagery that the lyrics mentioned or just expressing the feeling of the song. 

On the other hand, to create a series of lyrical art, it requires a well-planned process than making a single artwork; Planning from the mood, tone, pose, and everything that support the subject. The upgraded version of my lyrical art piece (pardon me, it is really an upgraded one) is Lana Del Rey's song in 'Maleficent', back in 2014, Once Upon A Time.

This particular shot reflects the "I know you, that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam..." part of the song. For this series, I worked with the help of my friends and created a small team for this. We listened to the song over and over again, read the lyrics over and over again. We have to make sure that the pictures are telling the story of the song and represent each lyrics. However, during the shooting, most likely unexpected things would happen, so we have to make small changes from our original plan. It's really normal for me to have more great spontaneous shots than the well-planned ones. HAHA.

To be lyrical requires a lot of practice and also meditation. Yes, I'm serious. Meditation is required to know your own self and to be aware of your own feelings. That's the hardest part in this particular style. Well, even for me, it was hard at first. I don't even know who I am. As I open myself and starting to sense and understand my own feeling, it become more and more natural for me to express myself whenever I create art pieces.

So, here are some tips when you want to do a lyrical art (my own advice):
1. First impression of the song really matters. When you listen to a certain song and you don't feel that it "see" through your heart and tickle it since the first melody, stop right there.
2. Lyrical art is about interpretation. The more you listen to it and learn the lyrics (if it has lyrics), your imagination can wonder around easier and imagine a certain scenery of the song. It requires practice and sensitivity. 
3. If you cannot imagine a perfect scene for the song, follow the lyrics. If it's an instrumental song, search for the music video of that song. It may help you to create the artwork.


To whoever you are, to those people who want to make art or trying to appreciate art, 
learn yourself and be lyrical.

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