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!

Friday Letter, 5-19-17

Today’s Friday Letter focuses mostly on a long-term discussion about the idea of our campus hosting Tent City.

Last Spring, I was presented with a recommendation by a campus task force suggesting that we should bring Tent City to campus for three months as a means of fulfilling our mission around integrated education in a learning-centered environment.  The interactions offered by such an event would create opportunities for us to teach our students how to apply their education to real world issues.  I responded to this recommendation by saying that we were not ready as a campus.

There were several criteria that needed to be met in order for me to feel more comfortable with this opportunity. These criteria included:

  • A report from UW Seattle about their hosting experience. They hosted last winter and I was hoping to better understand how this impacted campus. The leader of the effort at UW Seattle (Sally Clark) came to campus last month and spoke with several of us including our Pluralism Committee, a representative from the original campus Task Force, and a representative from UW Bothell.
  • A conversation with UWB about their willingness to co-sponsor the hosting. There exists an RCW that actually prevents any camping specifically on our campus. In order to get an exception to the RCW, both the Chancellor of UWB and I would have to request this of the Secretary of State. I had a conversation with UWB on Monday of this week about Tent City.
  • An understanding of the impact on human resources and financial resources. Many of you attended last week’s budget meetings and understand the state of the budget. Also, I continue to be concerned about the capacity of our faculty and staff to take on more things. This concern has been validated through my Coffee for Threes.
  • The identification of an appropriate space. This has gotten more complicated over the year as we have been on the hunt for spaces to build our next parking lot.
  • And, finally, a personal belief that our campus was culturally ready to host.

These were the things I wanted to consider before saying “yes.” As of today, I’ve had the opportunity to find the answers and have the conversations. Let’s talk about each of the 5 points (this time in backwards order…):

  • I believe the campus is culturally ready. The work we have done in DIA’s and Cavolines affirms for me that this campus believes strongly in inter-cultural competency and is ready to take on the presence of people who have fewer resources than we do.
  • Finding an appropriate space has become more difficult over the year. The space we identified last year has now been designated as the future site of a parking lot, which we hope to start construction on next year. And, after reviewing the campus map with UWB this week, we could not find another site that would allow for the necessities of Tent City. We work on a hillside; there is not much flat space accessible to water.
  • By having my conversation with UW Seattle, I am aware now of the huge impact on staff and finances. As you know, we may be operating in a deficit situation next year. I cannot approve the hosting because I fully believe that it will have a significant fiscal impact. Add to that, UW Seattle ended up taking their monetary support from their foundation because of criticism over using state funds. Our Foundation is not in the same place.
  • The impact on staff was huge. Over 10 departments needed to be involved, including risk management, safety, facilities, grounds, custodial, human resources, etc. As a state agency, we have requirements to staff and attend to such events. And, the common theme about staffing is that most all of these departments report to UWB. Not only were the departments tasked with the care of Tent City, but UW Seattle had an employee devoting 50% of her time to the facilitation of the experience. After a conversation with UWB, we decided we cannot afford to divert our staff to the support of Tent City at this time. We cannot afford the overtime and, like most of our employees, they already have full jobs.

So, as you can tell, the decision has been made to not host Tent City. UW Bothell has been a great partner with us over the past year and has been very willing to explore the ideas that come through Cascadia. I appreciated the partnership as we discussed this opportunity and had a frank discussion about our resources and capabilities. We are in agreement on both sides: we do not know where to physically locate them and we cannot afford the cash and staff support.

The Pluralism committee is in agreement with this assessment. They have suggested an opportunity however…

If an off-site entity would take on the hosting of Tent City, perhaps we could partner with them to create an academic connection that could lead to our desire for integrated learning. I am of course open to this and will connect with any local groups that decide to host Tent City.

Thanks for your understanding.

Have a great weekend.

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!

Friday Letter, 3-17-17

Happy St Patrick’s Day. Whenever a Friday Letter falls on a special day, like today, I look into the history of what makes the day so special.  I usually am surprised about how we have morphed ancient traditions and customs into American holidays.  Wikipedia is my source.  Here are some tidbits about today.

  • The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be fixed with certainty but there is broad agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the 5th century.
  • Early medieval tradition credits him with converting a society from practicing a form of Celtic polytheism to Christianity.
  • When he was about 16, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland.
  • In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; the 17th is thought to be the day of his death.

Who are our modern day “saints”? Thinking about this from the secular perspective, who are the people in our culture that have cared for and protected others?  Who will society revere 1000 years from now? I’d be interested to know your thoughts.

In the meanwhile, I know our legislators have this as their mission to care for and protect our community. This last Sunday we had over 350 people gather in Mobius to hear our local state senator (Guy Palumbo) and representatives (Shelly Kloba and Derek Stanford) talk about what is going on in Olympia.  I moderated the two hour event where we talked Oprah-style about Education, Transportation, Mental Health, the Economy, and the State’s relationship to the current Federal administration.

While “Olympia came to Cascadia” on Sunday, Erin Richards yearly takes “Cascadia to Olympia”.  Here is a photo of the students who went with Dr. Richards to Olympia last week with Senator Hans Zeiger.  He was kind enough to take the students on to the floor of the senate and into the caucus room and talk about state government – particularly education – with the students.  Senator Zeiger has served in both the house and senate and had a lot of perspective and experience to share with the students.  Erin reports it was a great trip!

Congratulations to David Dorratcague. He was awarded the state’s highest teaching award this month, the Anna Sue McNeill Assessment, Teaching, & Learning Award.  You are welcome to put him on your list of people we will revere 1000 years from now.  =)

Again, congrats David. We appreciate your dedication and skills.

What are we working on for Spring? The following is a list of topics that are foremost in my mind.  These are topics that I and the executive team are attending to weekly.  If they are of interest to you, please contact the eteam member whose name appears next to the topic for more info.

    • Master Plan (Meagan)
    • Parking Rates and new lots (Terence)
    • Reserved Parking decision (coming to you from Eric in April)
    • Tenure process and celebrations (Rosemary)
    • Budget Council and Action Plans (Terence)
    • Strategic Plan “Closing the Loop” process (Rosemary)
    • Accreditation visit regarding the BASSP (Rosemary)
    • ctcLink, Go.Cascadia (Terence)
    • HR Executive Director hiring process (Rosemary)
    • April 24 (1:00pm, Mobius) Teach-in on Israel and Palestine (Eric)
    • Cavoline planning for 17-18 (Eric)
    • Scholarship awards (Meagan)

I know that each employee has their own list of important things to which they are attending. Thanks for your diligence and efforts.

Have a great weekend.

 

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

hotel

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.

Creativity Myth #5: You’re Too Old to Start a Creative Endeavor.

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 Kyleigh and Emily address the myth that you can be “too old” to start a creative endeavor.

Being Revived

by Kyleigh Magness and Emily Nina

girlcoloringwomancoloring

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever said you can’t do something because you’re too old? Or that you can’t follow your dreams because it’s too late in your life to change it? Creativity and age don’t have much in common to me. If anything, I believe as you get older and see the world more, your creativity grows as you do. Age doesn’t define your passions or abilities.

big-magicElizabeth Gilbert said in her book Big Magic that “if you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” If you’re nine or 49 your creativity is always a part of you. Your creativity doesn’t vanish just because your age does. I still find myself at age 20 drawing, coloring, and painting, just like I did when I was little. Keep the creativity in your soul alive, and find time to let it breathe. There is always time to do or think about art, and there is always time to start something new. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you should stop creating. No matter what age you are, don’t stop. Don’t shut down your creative mind for a 9:00 to 5:00. That urge to be creative never wants to leave you, so don’t show it the door.

creativitypoem

Poem by “Jane” from Family Friend Poem.com, November 2008.

Gilbert writes, “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” Let this idea serve as your mission: look for the passions you possess. Look for that thing that makes your heart skip a beat and your mind buzz with enchantment. Allow yourself to accept the fact that following your heart will not always mean you give up everything. You have a job, bills, a family, a whole life that requires time and attention. Allow yourself to work your passions into your schedule. Give yourself that time to paint, draw, photograph, make jewelry, sculpt, design, simply contemplate; whatever it may be, let it into your life, but recognize that it does not have to become your life. The thing that sparks your inner creator is living inside your soul, and it is not too late to draw it out and bring it to life.

 

We are all capable of accessing it, and weaving it into our lives. There is always a way to be creative, from painting to drawing, from dancing and writing. Right now, you can be creative. Pick up a brush and paint the night sky. Or write poetry. Gilbert brilliantly expressed to “do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” So start that revolution, and be revived, no matter your age. Your age doesn’t decide how creative you are. Always keep your mind open to creativity, and keep creating.

Creativity Myth #4: Creativity is reserved for the “high arts” only.

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 Lien and Olivia  address the myth that creativity is reserved for the “high arts” only.

A High Low Sight
by Olivia Habdas and Lien Pham

My mama said don’t be a dreamer
                                                    My dada said don’t be a burdener
Sorry to break it
                                                    Mama, Dada I am both of those myths
Day dreamer, night burdener.
                                                    —Lien Pham

lienflowerMy life is a piece of art and so are you, You, and YOU. I have not changed the world by any means. I have cereal in the morning, sometimes with apple juice, other times with orange juice. I have family, friends, and know many people, but can’t remember their names. I know, it sounds normal, it sounds boring, it sounds repetitive. Well, you can blame the cereal inventors who made their products so damn delicious. But think twice: you are you and no one else can be you or pretend to be you.

“I have cereal in the morning, sometimes with apple juice, others times with orange juice.”

We are living in the “attention black hole,” the universe vacuum of acknowledgements. Many want to be noticed, want to be popular. Hey, we forgot that we are already being noticed, being popular. We have people who care about us, people who want us to be well. Some of us have a piece of creativity here and there. Some come with the tattoos we decorate ourselves with and some come with the relationships we have, while others have their great selfies, Snapchats, or just randomly put a smile on someone’s face. Let me tell you! Those parts of your life are not always easy—they require creativity, effort, and YOUR own self. It is just like Elizabeth Gilbert’s message from Big Magic: “Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one.”

tattoosBeing a creative person doesn’t necessary mean you intend on creating a perfect masterpiece. An ugly mistake can later turn into a creative piece of art. One great example is the tattoo. Done spur of the moment at the age of 18, I just wanted a tattoo. Over the years, it started to bleed ink and turned into a big black blob. After taking it into a tattoo artist who knew what they were doing, it became a new piece of art that improved my ugly mistake.

Art doesn’t need to be reserved for the “high arts” only. Art is everything around you, from the trees turning colors in the Fall, to the graffiti tagged on city buildings. Everyone has their own way of interpreting art. As Gilbert states, “Your own reasons to create are reasons enough.” It does not matter what you create; it matters that you create it and that it has meaning to you.

An ugly mistake can turn into a beautiful art piece.”

Now take a minute to reflect, grab a piece of paper and pen, and draw how you feel. This is art. You drew something that has meaning to you. The art you create doesn’t have to be “high art” or even something well known and meaningful to others. It just has to have meaning to you.