Yours Truly Students Blog About Courage

Fall Quarter 2017 Magazine Publication students are once again reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, but this time they’ll be reporting on the “Big Magic” day they led in class. Students, divided into groups based on each chapter, will facilitate a discussion and lead activities that integrate the ideas from Gilbert’s book. Here, Cascadia students Anthony, Mariah, and Zaynub share their experience of exploring COURAGE.

Living with our Fears

by Anthony Lee, Mariah Carpo, and Zaynub Khanam

Courage, a characteristic that effects and envelops most of our daily lives. It is the factor that could change the course of our day, for better or for worse. It could be as big as a resounding call to action, or as quiet and reserved as a small gesture. It is the outcome of each and every one of us working together to create a bigger impact, or it could be the outcome of a single person who fanned the flame that kindled in everyone’s hearts. It may be difficult to muster up the strength to produce such a characteristic due to one’s own fears and doubts, until one realizes that to speak the mind is a gift. This goes to show that courage, even the smallest influence, can change a person entirely. It is how and by whom courage is used that will ultimately determine whether or not we move towards a right path or a wrong one.

Photo credit: Anthony Lee

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Courage” chapter in Big Magic is a nurturing subject that helps people develop a stronger sense of self and awareness. Our team felt passionate about advocating Gilbert’s idea that courage isn’t about beating your fear or getting rid of it. Bravery is being scared and acting on that fear anyway. Embracing this idea, our team of courage decided to create our own whiteboard that headlined “I Fear….” followed by empty lines. It was Oct. 9th and a beautiful day in the middle of fall. We were all a little nervous to show this board to the class since we weren’t entirely sure how our whiteboard would be received. Thankful for the great weather, we went outside for some fresh air and warm sun (and some light lo-fi music). We gave everyone a personal poster board, and told them to write as many fears as they wanted. This is where the vulnerable transition takes part in this story. We asked everyone in our HUM 210 class to have the courage to write one fear they had on their poster board on the whiteboard in front of the class and share a bit about that fear. In the beginning, we meant to capitalize on the idea of accepting our fears, having it right there in front of us, and accepting that fear for what it is.

Photo credit: Anthony Lee

We each shared a fear of ours on the board and talked about why we feared it, but then it was time for the class of HUM 210 to share. There was a hesitation at first, but then our first volunteer with all his bravery came and wrote, “I fear anxiety.” It was a beautiful story and moment to witness as he truly embraced the meaning of courage. Even though this individual had a fear of talking in front of people, he believed in the courage to go up there and do it anyways. The shift in energy after he shared his story was a beautiful opening to a sense of community in our class. One after the other, each and every classmate shared a fear and their story. Our empty lines were now full, outside in the open on a sunny day in the middle of fall. At the end of the activity session, we weren’t expecting to feel so connected to everyone’s stories, but in some small sense we could relate to a lot of everyone’s fears, and there was comfort in that. The final cherry on top was leaving this whiteboard of “I Fear…” in public breakout space in the CC1 building of Cascadia College. Here is a picture of the few but powerful responses we had from the community of Cascadia.

Photo credit: Mariah Parco

To have courage within your creative life, it is important to learn to accept and work with your fears. When we all spoke about our fears as a magazine publication class, I realized one thing most of us had in common was our way to combat our fear, and how we learned to make space for it, which was pushing ourselves to do things that made us uncomfortable or even seem scary because we’ll never know if we really like it or not otherwise. The very first step to learn how to live with your fear is accepting it, and I was so proud that every single person in our class got up and shared a fear of theirs. Allow yourself to be self-expressive without limitations. Don’t let what you fear hold you back, but at the same time, don’t try to get rid of it or ignore it. Know that fear will always be there, but let yourself become comfortable enough with it so that it doesn’t control you. As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Big Magic, “If you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere or do anything interesting” (26).

Andrew Park, Yours Truly Marketing Director

Interview conducted by Thaddeus Vale

Andrew Park, our Marketing Director for the 2017 edition of Yours Truly, shares his enthusiasm for marketing Cascadia’s creative arts magazine and promoting courageous creativity in all forms. Andrew is excited to share Yours Truly with our community at our launch event on June 5th!

Photo credit: Thaddeus Vale

Q: Why did you apply for the Marketing Director position this year?
A: In the Fall Quarter when I took Humanities 210 and learned about Yours Truly, I was on the campus marketing team and the goal was getting people to submit to our publication. After setting a record of 307 submissions, it gave me a feeling that the marketing was a success, and then I could bring all the takeaways from that into the job as the Marketing Director for the launch event and the magazine.

Q: What do you do in your role as Marketing Director?
A: First of all, one thing I do is lead my team in introducing the launch event and our magazine to the campus. Marketing means promotion, so we are promoting this year’s edition of Yours Truly at the launch event so people can learn more about the publication we have to offer.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge for your team this quarter?
A: Out of all the challenges I’ve seen, the biggest problem is knowing how to promote the launch event effectively. We have to know how we are going to bring our student body, former students, and faculty to the main event and create full interest in our magazine.

Q: How will you lead your team to handle it?
A: One of the most important steps is taking into account of everyone’s input seriously and identifying how we introduce our launch event to our campus. We will work with as many ideas as we receive and figure out what’s best for us as the marketing team, as well as the community we’re trying to reach out to. When we get the word out, we have to stay true to the values, image, identity, and expectations of Cascadia and our Yours Truly magazine.

Q: What do you wish to see at the launch event?
A: I would like to see a packed crowd of individuals who really wish to learn how to express their creativity with courage. I want them to create a successful piece to submit for future publications, too (our next submission period is Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, BTW!). I hope we attract people who are unfamiliar with Yours Truly who wish to learn about creativity at Cascadia.

Q: What do you want to notice the first moment you open up the magazine?
A: I wish to see high quality works with a clear meaning in the publication. I hope that the pieces have high emotional meaning and are significant to people who view the publication. I want our whole community to be proud of this year’s issue.

Q: If the budget were unlimited, what would you do?
A: Honestly, I think it’s a good thing the budget is not unlimited. If the budget were unlimited, people would have the tendency to randomly and mindlessly try out ideas inconsistent with the quality and the aesthetics we truly want in the magazine. A limited budget challenges people to be mindful of the emotional appeal and the visual qualities we really want in our Yours Truly Magazine.

Q: What is the key to success in your position?
A: Being an active listener and a communicator is a serious matter since this is a teamwork-oriented task. I have to communicate well with others on my team to get the word out about our launch event, so our community can get to know our publication.

Q: If a future member of your role wanted to ask for advice, what would you tell them?
A: The first step of marketing purpose is know what you want to achieve. It’s important to know how we want to introduce the magazine to our community so they’re interested in learning about the creative side we have to offer. It’s also important to be a true team player and be able to work with anyone with comfort and an open mind.

Q: What theme does this year’s publication reflect from your point of view?
A: Based on all the selections we’ve made a quarter ago, I’ve noticed a diverse range of subject matter. Each piece has its own unique qualities and strengths we can appreciate and be proud of.

Q: How do you feel Yours Truly contributes to our Cascadia community?
A: It encourages our community to be creative, be brave, and take risks to allow their imaginations to flourish. Any creative idea can be good in its own unique way if you know how to express your creative imagination with courage.

Learn more about Yours Truly by connecting with us on social media!

Facebook  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

RSVP to our Launch Event on June 5, 2:00-6:00pm HERE!

Shaun Segraves, Yours Truly Editor in Chief

Interview conducted by Thaddeus Vale

Shaun Segraves, our Editor in Chief for the 2017 edition of Yours Truly, shares what it’s like to lead a publication team and champion our creative arts magazine on campus. With his stellar management, communication, and editing skills, Shaun is model for not only excellence in student leadership, but also in integrated and active learning at Cascadia.

Photo credit: Thaddeus Vale

Q: Why did you apply for the Editor in Chief position this year?
A: I have had previous experience as a manager in my chosen career in the past so I felt that it was the right fit for me. I felt that it was the best position for me to utilize my skill set. There is more than just managing involved and I wanted to take a position that has more pressure than a typical position.

Q: What do you do in your role as an Editor in Chief?
A: I delegate all tasks, overlook all the teams, and set and establish the timeline for our publication this quarter. I also meet with the leadership team to check in on their progress and to help them if necessary. I overlook everything and jump in when needed, so it’s basically an all-rounder type position.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge for your team this quarter?
A: The biggest challenge for the team is really making sure that every individual team is working collaboratively with each other, managing that whole experience, and checking and adjusting as we go. We try to look and see if there are any opportunities for improvement within the teams. We also take the time to appreciate the individual contributions people give to the publication.

Q: How will you lead your team to handle it?
A: I will be making sure that the final product is of the best quality it could be. I’m always putting pressure on myself to make sure the publication turns out in the best quality we could achieve.

Q: What do you wish to see at the launch event?
A: I would want to see a well-received interactive event with a diverse audience.

Q: What do you want to notice the first moment you open up the magazine?
A: I want to notice the magazine takes the reader on a journey. I feel that each page should be it’s own experience throughout the publication and no two pages should be alike.

Q: If the budget were unlimited, what would you do?
A: I would make a hard cover version of the publication, and I’d love to make the event a true cocktail party red carpet release event, where people are dressed up and we have passed-appetizers with a wait staff. Truly giving it a special feel, I would also love to frame artwork of the artists themselves as a token of appreciation for submitting artwork for Yours Truly.

Q: What is the key to success in your position?
A: COMMUNICATION IS KEY. I need to be able to see the big picture of the publication process. As the Editor in Chief, you must always see how all the teams interact with each other and oversee all activity.

Q: If a future member of your role wanted to ask for advice, what would you tell them?
A: I would tell them that communication is integral, start planning early, set a timeline, and hold yourself accountable.

Q: What theme does this years’ publication reflect from your point of view?
A: I’ve taken a journey of all three quarters of this class, so it feels like a journey. The poetry and images it appears to be a common theme of a emotional journey that takes place.

Q:
How do you feel Yours Truly contributes to our Cascadia community?
A: I feel like it creates an inclusive environment, not only for our students, but for our faculty and our community as well. Yours Truly has been a meeting place of creativity where people can share and soak in the creative aspect of learning.

Learn more about Yours Truly by connecting with us on social media!

Facebook  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

RSVP to our Launch Event on June 5, 2:00-6:00pm HERE!

Lien Pham, Yours Truly Managing Editor

Interview conducted by Andrew Park

Lien, our Managing Editor for the 2017 edition of Yours Truly, gives us a taste of her important leadership role. She is the “operations and budget wizard” of the YT Team and she’s an expert at fostering good communication among team members.

Photo credit: Thaddeus Vale

Q: Why did you apply for the Managing Editor position this year?
A: I have been taking the Yours Truly magazine publication classes since Fall Quarter. I feel that I am qualified for budgeting and tracking since I have a lot of experience in finance, and I thought this was a great way for me to contribute to Yours Truly.

Q: What do you do in your role as a Managing Editor?
A: I handle the budget for Yours Truly and keep track of the day-to-day operations. I help the Editor in Chief with his tasks. Additionally, I help and contribute to all the teams (Art & Design, Launch Event, and Marketing) related to Yours Truly magazine.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge for your team this quarter?
A: We don’t have too many big challenges this quarter. We have had small problems that we overcame. Typically, these problems involved communication. Everything is on track so far this quarter.

Q: How will you lead your team to handle it?
A: Shaun (our Editor in Chief) and I handle these problems together. We come up with solutions to deal with issues that may occur with communication.

Q: What do you wish to see at the launch event?
A: I want to see a lot of fun with a very chilled-out atmosphere of people having a good time. I also want to see a lot of people at the event, creative decorations, and of course the presence of the Yours Truly team. We also want to inform people for next year’s Yours Truly experiences as well.

Q: What do you want to notice the first moment you open up the magazine?
A: A balance between pictures and poems, visually appealing colors, and something that represents the entire Yours Truly Team.

Q: If the budget were unlimited, what would you do?
A: Have Adele come and sing for me and have the event at CenturyLink Field in Seattle’s SoDo district! I’d also like to have 5-star restaurant food for the event as well.

Q: What is the key to success in your position?
A: It’s balancing between numbers and workload, as well as communication. The most important thing is keeping track of everything– and I recommend using Microsoft Excel and keeping a tracking list. Also, having confidence in what you do is important, as well as trusting in other people when delegating tasks.

Q: If a future member of your role wanted to ask for advice, what would you tell them?
A: I would tell them to be confident and make sure they handle the budget wisely, and to trust the teams.

Q: What theme does this year’s publication reflect from your point of view?
A: I feel the Yours Truly publication inspires curiosity. Most people are unfamiliar with the publication when they come to Cascadia. Yours Truly gives me the excitement of a professional publication process and it also gives me summer vibes because the event is in the spring and early summer.

Q: How do you feel Yours Truly contributes to our Cascadia community?
A: It helps other people know about Cascadia. It’s also a symbol of creativity for the Cascadia student body. It is also a rare opportunity for students to have a job simulation instead of a typical classroom environment.

Learn more about Yours Truly by connecting with us on social media!

Facebook  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

RSVP to our Launch Event on June 5, 2:00-6:00pm HERE!

Laura Dachenhausen, Yours Truly Event Director

Interview conducted by Thaddeus Vale 

Laura, our Event Director for the 2017 edition of Yours Truly, gives us an in-depth look at her leadership role. She also gives us a detailed description of her expectations for the magazine and release event (it’s June 5, 2:00-6:00pm – so mark your calendars!) with full optimism.

Q: Why did you apply for the Event Director position for Yours Truly this year?
A: Because my mom does a lot of event coordinating for the UW Bothell research office. I’ve always admired what she does and wanted to know more about how to coordinate an event. It also gets me outside comfort zone, since last year I was the Poetry Editor.

Q: What do you do in your role as Event Director?
A: I do budgeting, coordinating, creative brainstorming, planning, and then getting ready for the execution of the event. 

Photo credit: Thaddeus Vale

Q: What’s the biggest challenge for your team this quarter?
A: We have all these big ideas and we have to scale them down and figure out timelines in a realistic way. We need to balance big creative ideas with logistics, which are sort of constrained by reality.

Q: How will you lead your team to handle it?
A: Keeping in touch with Courtney Putnam, our instructor, because she is a mentor and she is grounding us when we tend to stray with big, ambitious ideas.

 

Q: What do you wish to see at the launch event?
A: Community! We would love people to sink into the art, relax comfortably, absorbing the art on an emotional and spiritual level. There was nowhere to sit at last year’s event and people didn’t get enough time to let it sink in.

Q: What do you want to notice the first moment you open up the magazine?
A: Clarity and appealing visuals that allow art appreciation. I want minimalistic and simplistic.

Q: If the budget were unlimited, what would you do?
A: I would create a lot more interactive exhibit type things at the event. Incorporate more technology and buy beanbag chairs. If we had an unlimited amount of money, we could artificially make the weather sunny and do the event outside, or go somewhere where it is sunny!

Q: What is the key to success in your position?
A: Hearing everyone in the group, and validating everyone’s ideas within the group. Also, being open minded.

Q: If a future member in your role wanted to ask for advice, what would you tell them?
A: Do all the forms and paperwork first – get the hard stuff out of the way. Get out of your own head and incorporate all the personalities of your event team. Validate your team members.

Q: What theme does this year’s publication reflect from your point of view?
A: A light, comforting vibe theme for spring.

Q: How do you feel Yours Truly contributes to our Cascadia community?
A: Yours Truly is a tool to bring our community together in one publication, and our editorial team makes that happen. We’re all working on one thing, one publication, which brings people together. Yours Truly is an outlet for artists to be recognized within our community.

Learn more about Yours Truly by connecting with us on social media!

Facebook  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

McKenna Lynch, Yours Truly Art Director

Interview conducted by Andrew Park

McKenna Lynch, the 2017 Art Director for Cascadia’s creative arts magazine Yours Truly, tells us about the creativity and the aesthetics she stresses in her job. She’s really looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work flourish and enjoys watching the creative side of Cascadia students shine.

Photo credit: Thaddeus Vale

Q: Why did you apply for the Art Director position for Yours Truly this year?
A: I actually applied for multiple positions. I was the Art Director last year, so I have lots of experience. I’m also very passionate about producing creative and professional types of work.

Q: What do you do in your role as the Art Director?
A: The most important part is deciding on aesthetics based on how we present the selected submissions for the magazine while making it look “hella fly” at the same time.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge for your team this quarter?
A: It’s trying to stay away from patterns from past publications, but staying consistent with the representation of Yours Truly with full respect for the submitters’ works.

Q: How will you lead your team to handle it?
A: It’s always trial and error.

Q: What do you wish to see at the launch event on June 5?
A: Excitement for the final product and lots of opportunities for people to get a feel for our publication.

Q: What do you want to notice the first moment you open up the magazine?
A: I want to see effortful work on the entire product that everyone could appreciate and be proud of.

Q: If the budget were unlimited, what would you do?
A: Honestly, it’s a good thing the budget isn’t unlimited. This prevents people from getting in over their head, even if it’s stressful and difficult to deal with at times. The idea is to prevent mindlessness, especially when it comes to the part where we finalize the final product.

Q: What is the key to success in your position?
A: First of all, being a team player that works well with others is a top priority. It’s also important to abide by the same rules and understand it’s not just you doing your own stuff for the publication.

Q: If a future Art Director wanted to ask you for advice, what would you tell them?
A: They should be prepared to step away from their own aesthetics and stray away from their own preferences for the publication. The idea is to understand it’s a team-oriented matter and there are lots of people’s inputs to account for prior to any final decisions.

Q: What theme does this year’s publication reflect from your point of view?
A: It reflects a juxtaposition of modern and contemporary, simplistic, and a complex variety of pieces. Our font selections this year were also influenced by this year’s art.

Q: How do you feel Yours Truly contributes to our Cascadia community?
A: It encourages people to challenge themselves and to find their true creative strengths. However, lots of people are unaware of this. There are so many members of our community who aren’t familiar with our publication.

Learn more about Yours Truly by connecting with us on social media!

Facebook  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

Creativity Myth #9: Your creations are your babies.

This Fall Quarter, students enrolled in Courtney Putnam’s HUMAN 210 course (part one in the year-long series to produce Cascadia’s creative arts magazine Yours Truly) are reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and debunking common myths about creativity, myths that Gilbert addresses in her book. In the following post, Cascadia students Bailey and Whitney address the myth that your creations are your babies.

Your Creations Are Your Mama

by Whitney Taylor and Bailey Hansen

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Have you ever created something, and then felt a certain attachment to it that forced you to never show it to anyone? Because you were so utterly involved and attached to the creation of such a piece art? Why did you feel that way? What did you do?

There’s something absolutely freeing and lovely about allowing people the privilege of viewing your work. I say privilege, because it is just that. When you show someone something you have put time and effort into making beautiful in your eyes, it doesn’t only affect you, but it affects the viewer as well. In a powerful way. Because you can bet that the observer of your art has never seen something exactly like what you just created. This whole process of sharing releases something inside of you. For some people, this is a feeling of joy and freedom; and for others, this is a feeling nervousness and anxiety.

spaceneedleHowever, there must be a root cause to why one would feel a sense of freedom or fear when finally releasing a piece of work to the eyes of the public. And the root cause of this feeling is our attachment to our creations. We tend to naturally treat our art as our “babies.” In the book Big Magic, the author Elizabeth Gilbert explains this natural habit as something we need to quit doing because of the stronghold it places on the sharing and editing of our work. Gilbert states, “If you honestly believe that your work is your baby, then you will have trouble cutting away 30 percent of it someday – which you may very well need to do…you might not be able to release your work or share it at all – because how will that poor defenseless baby survive without you hovering over it and tending to it?”

Your work is not your baby. In fact, as Gilbert stated in her book, if anything you are it’s baby. Imagine where you would be without the things you make. What would you do? Where would you be? Who would you be?

So the next time you find yourself unsure of entrusting your art with the wings to fly and leave the nest, remember this: You do art the service of initially creating it, but it is the one who brings you into being. Let it go.

**

In the spirit of sharing and letting go of your work, please consider submitting your best poetry, prose, and/or visual art to Yours Truly this year! Our submission deadline is December 31, 2016. More details here: https://yourstruly.submittable.com/submit

Creativity Myth #8: You Must Have Passion to Be Creative

This Fall Quarter, students enrolled in Courtney Putnam’s HUMAN 210 course (part one in the year-long series to produce Cascadia’s creative arts magazine Yours Truly) are reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and debunking common myths about creativity, myths that Gilbert addresses in her book. In the following post, Cascadia students Lydia and Haley address the myth that you must have passion to be creative.

Creativity Doesn’t Always Begin with Passion

by Lydia Altenberger and Haley Hendrickson

Can you only be creative if you’re passionate about something? I believe passion is something that can be built or grown into. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, she discusses this misunderstanding where people believe that you can only be creative if you have passion.

buildingIn my situation, I, Lydia, signed up for Magazine Publication at Cascadia to fulfill a credit— nothing more than that. I didn’t think I would find my passion in this class. After completing a project for our course, which involved creating a poster and stickers, I found out that I loved it. Before I knew it, I started to become interested in graphic design. Everything about it made me excited. It was all so crazy for me, especially since I never expected to find a passion for graphic design. I guess you could say it was hiding away, just waiting to come out. All I had to do was let myself explore new things. As Gilbert writes, “I have chosen to believe that a desire to be creative was encoded into my DNA for reasons I will never know, and that creativity will not go away from me unless I forcibly kick it away, or poison it dead.”

I think it’s safe to say that I am not artistic in any way, shape, or form. Despite this, I, Haley, have had many firsthand experiences that prove you don’t girl-flowersneed passion to create something great. When I was in high school I took a ceramics class, and I only took it because I needed the art credit to graduate. Our first assignment was to make a clay pot. We essentially had to create art out of just a slab of clay, and this seemed impossible to me. I started looking through a book of all the different types of pots we could make with the hope that it would give me inspiration. After a while, I just decided to flip to a random page and recreate the pot I landed on. Once the pot came out of the kiln, it surprisingly looked pretty good. Next, I needed to paint it, and I already had a pattern in mind that I really liked. As I painted the pot, I started to love it. I would even stay late after school to spend more time on it. Now, this same pot I created from flipping to a page in an art book is on a cabinet for display in my house, and I can honestly say I am very proud of what I created.

I don’t believe you need to start out being passionate about something. Passion can be built over time, while you explore different creative possibilities. You may find yourself falling in love with something you didn’t expect, which is where I believe passion can come from.

Please send us your prose, poetry, and visual art! Our submission deadline is December 31, 2016. Learn more here: http://www.yourstruly.submittable.com/submit

Creativity Myth #7: Creativity should be perfect.

This Fall Quarter, students enrolled in Courtney Putnam’s HUMAN 210 course (part one in the year-long series to produce Cascadia’s creative arts magazine Yours Truly) are reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and debunking common myths about creativity, myths that Gilbert addresses in her book. In the following post, Cascadia students Parlin and Efrain address the myth that your creativity should be perfect.

Imperfection is Perfection

by Parlin Shields and Efrain Aguilar

artStriving for perfection is not a new concept. We are congratulated for being the smartest, for being the fastest, for being the thinnest. Practice makes perfect. Our culture has been nudging us towards “perfection” for as long as we can remember, and it takes some real world experience to realize that this “perfection” they told us about when we were young is only a myth.

But the thing is, perfection does exist. It exists in the machine made and freaks of nature. The human race has used perfection as a tool for survival. Perfection is different depending on the discipline. Like beauty, perfection is subjective, and shifts over culture and time. Are humans perfect? No. If everything had to be perfect, then by golly! nothing would ever happen. People would just stand around stewing in their own inherent failure waiting for genius to pounce—waiting for their muse to shell out some goddamn brilliant ideas.

The need for “perfect” can paralyze you. It’s hard to create when you are scared of the outcome. Fear is the dirty little side effect nobody really likes talking about. “I’ve been absolutely terrified [of creating] every minute of my life” said artist Georgia O’Keeffe, “and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” So you aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. Humans are chock full of flaws, and that’s OK.

bronzeWell our flaws make us human, and being flawed makes for an interesting life. It gives us character! And culture! And our emotions, for crying out loud!

If art can never be truly perfect, than no brushstroke, angle of a shot, or note of music can ever be the same. But imperfection really is perfection. Imperfection is beautiful. Flaws are beautiful. If everything had to be perfect then we would never hear rock n’ roll, or witness the dada movement. “The diversity in our creative expression is fantastic,” writes author Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic.

So live your creative life. Live without constraints. Live without striving for perfection. Draw! Paint! Write! Concoct! Create! People aren’t perfect, but you are unique, you are flawed—and beautifully so. “Whether you think you’re brilliant or you think you’re a loser,” says Elizabeth Gilbert, “Just make whatever you need to make and toss it out there.” All you have to remember is imperfection is perfection.

Please send us your perfectly imperfect creative works! Learn more here: http://www.yourstruly.submittable.com/submit

Creativity Myth #6: You should stop creating art if you keep getting rejected.

This Fall Quarter, students enrolled in Courtney Putnam’s HUMAN 210 course (part one in the year-long series to produce Cascadia’s creative arts magazine Yours Truly) are reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and debunking common myths about creativity, myths that Gilbert addresses in her book. In the following post, Cascadia student Rachelle Suko addresses the myth that you should stop creating art if you keep getting rejected.

Failure is Only Failure if You Give Up

by Rachelle Suko

building

At twenty-five years old, before becoming the first female billionaire author, J.K. Rowling experienced rejection. Upon submitting the manuscript for her first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to more than twelve publishers, Rowling was rejected by every single one. She began to lose faith in her writing and the book which she had so lovingly poured her heart into. Yet she pressed on, and at last, a publishing company decided to give her a chance. Over a decade later, her books (and the movie adaptations) remain highly acclaimed and are arguably among the best stories ever created. Rowling not only brought change to the writing world, but brought joy and hope to children and adults alike all around the world.

I have no memory of the Harry Potter stories not being a part of my life. My family is constantly re-watching the movies and the books are always laying around my house, right along with our wands and Hogwarts house apparel. Even as I write this, my little brother is in the other room watching the third movie. I am sure that I speak for countless others when I say that I am immensely grateful that J.K. Rowling did not lose heart and give up. Just because you are not immediately recognized for what you create does not mean that you should stop creating. Carry on, keep making art for the sake of making art, and one day someone may find your creation and recognize its beauty and meaning.

treeThat is not to say that persisting will be easy nor guarantee a rewarding payoff. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, she explains that if you genuinely love your craft and are passionate about what you are creating, nothing will be able to stop you from pursuing it. Not rejection, not lack of inspiration, not even physical drawbacks. As she eloquently describes it, “Through the mere act of creating something—anything—you might inadvertently produce work that is magnificent, eternal, or important . . . You might not, on the other hand. But your calling is to make things, then you still have to make things in order to live out your highest creative potential—and also in order to remain sane.” This brings to my mind the classic and incredibly talented composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. He composed and performed music his entire life until he went deaf near the age of forty-six. And yet, the word ‘until’ doesn’t belong in the last sentence because he pressed on. He continued to compose and create some of the most highly-acclaimed classical songs in history. Another example is Vincent van Gogh, who never lived to see his paintings acknowledged and treasured but kept painting amidst all the disapproval that he received for his work.

The stories of creative individuals who have endured immense rejection are endless. But the art that has made it past the rejection and has finally found recognition is all the more beautiful for what it has been through. Take heart, press on, and please—for the sake of the many generations of readers, film lovers, and general art enthusiasts to come—do not give up.