Kim: I love making up hypothetical scenarios inspired by real things – like societies and people and environments. I think how much fiction I read as a child always got me thinking about “what ifs” and literary interpretation and analysis in college kept that imaginative spirit alive. I don’t really enjoy writing creatively myself, but I like thinking of new ways to look at what already exists. In my Shakespeare class last fall I was once accused of making “Shakespearean fanfiction” because I came up with so many possible scenarios for interpreting what characters were doing. It’s great with old literature because it is impossible to ever know what an author meant, so critical and creative thinking can really emerge.
Mat: Its interesting to see the diverse responses about our creative outlets because frequently when we ask people “Do you think your creative” the resounding answer is no. What do you think is the disconnect? For me my creative outlet is my writing and the moment when I overcome the scariest of the blank white page and find a voice for my story.
Cara: Mine is art journaling and i discovered it through an online course I took last fall!
Paula: Like Evan, my creative outlet doesn’t lead to a definite product. My outlet is paying attention and thinking–finding and contemplating ideas–in order to understand and enjoy my world. When I was a journalist, a lot of these observations and ideas were recombined into stories. As a teacher, they are recombined into assignments, discussion, and occasionally research. As a technology junkie of the current age, you’ll find much of my thinking articulated on Facebook. I don’t write fiction or poetry. I don’t paint or draw or craft. I cook, but with a recipe. But I do think I’m creative, and I think what I’ve created–and continue to create–is a life for me and my family and friends and students and, well, anyone who comes into contact with me (like the two gentlemen this morning who heard me raving about the first strawberries of the season and who got explicit directions for where to locate the stand where they’re being sold and now I hope they are enjoying strawberries, too!).
Steve: I enjoy constructing crossword puzzles and sharing them with others. When I was an Elon student I was fortunate to have a few of them published in the Pendulum. Wouldn’t mind doing it again either!
Evan: My creative outlet is looking (yes looking!) in order to see and know things differently. This is not something I “discovered” rather it is something my discipline (Art History at Elon) taught me. I’ve dedicated my life to this process (and not just my scholarly life) and hope my looking (and the writing that comes from this looking) sparks debate, more thinking, and yes, looking.
Jason: My creative outlet is Twitter. It’s an artistic challenge to convey a message in 140 characters, which I found by tweeting!
Sam: Dance. I grew up dancing since I could practically walk, so it has been a large part of my life. However, I did not necessarily understand or fully realize that dance has been an ‘outlet’ for me to destress and express myself. There is so much that can be said and explained through the movement of our bodies, and for me, much of that realization occurred when I got injured and could no longer dance. This happened towards the end of my high school ‘career’ which in turn (along with other things) prohibited me from pursuing dance as a major. Not having dance in my life full-time has definitely been a difficult thing, but I have found ways to keep it alive: taking a few classes here at Elon, choreographing pieces for shows, and of course, dancing in the kitchen, despite being on the second floor. Sorry neighbors below us! Dance has so much to offer and is truly therapeutic. I know it will always be apart of my life in some form or another, but I am excited to see how it will continue.
Sarah: I am obsessed with SnapChat. I take it very seriously. I found that I am very good at drawing with my finger and I am so proud of the snapsterpieces I create (SnapChat term, not mine). One of my favorite things to do is a series called Shark Week, where I filmed clips of people I run into and draw a shark eating them over the picture. There’s something very cathartic about SnapChat for me. I’m very much a control freak, but having that small piece of art available for only an hour reminds me to live in the present. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m very serious about SnapChat. I’m attaching my most recent SnapChat. I drew this one when I was feeling particularly blue about not having pets in my apartment complex.