“Write the photograph” Inspiration from author and artist Terry Angelos
Last week I went to East Coast Radio’s Home and Garden show – it was fantastic to be back at the Exhibition centre, no masks and loads of people! A glimpse of the good old days….
After grabbing a delicious coffee from N2, my Mom and I headed to the Garden -Lifestyle Theatre to listen to my artist and author friend – the incredibly talented Terry Angelos. Her phenomenal memoir “White Trash” is doing incredibly well since its release, it is already on its second reprint and has ranked in the top 10 biographies at Exclusive Books for the last 11 months!
I was fortunate enough to get to know Terry Angelos before her book was published and it was on a few of our morning walks (not too early, because she is not that great at getting up at the crack of dawn!) that I heard about the process she went through, writing her book during lockdown.
I have listened to a number of her interviews and am definitely a raving fan, so I was delighted when her talk at the garden show took on a different format. It was more of a “How I wrote my best-selling memoir” – a behind the scenes look at her workbook, artistic doodles and photos.
She covered so much in her authentically, humble, moving way – gave tips to aspiring writers – I loved that she said most of the writing process is rewriting…
There were 4 main tips:
1. Learn the Craft
2. Write in the present tense
3. Zoom in and out out to give context
4. How to Tap into memories
Being a photo book designer I was most enthralled when she detailed that a good way to tap into memories was to “write the photograph” – I just know that I will be doing more of this in my travel memoir-type books. I doubt I will ever be an author, even though so many people have said Kwangjeon and I should pen our interesting cross-cultural love/life story – I just know, that this was the part of the talk I loved the most.
I was the first to jump up and look at photos of Terry during her White Trash era – there were very few, a young innocent Terry and her family photos – I value the role these played in helping recall her story and know that I treasure my old photos in a very special way.
My design take away:
I would like to encourage you to include text in your photo books. If you were sitting next to the person looking at your photo book, what would you be telling them about the photo? Include those stories, descriptions, and titles at least. Have you ever picked up old family photos and been curious about who everyone was, what were they thinking, where were they going, and how they got there? What questions would you have for them? – include those answers…
In finishing off, I’d encourage you to read Terry’s best-seller “White Trash” and if you are in Durban visit her stall at the Shongweni’s Farmers Market where her beautiful watercolour painting, fabric art, and décor range are available – or better yet shop online at https://terryangelosart.com/