Whether it’s writing or painting or sculpting or crafting or making, creativity takes time, care, and patience (especially with yourself). I have projects, thoughts, and ideas “sitting still” in notebooks, sketchbooks, Word documents, iPhone notes, and literally on my floor (feat. one paper maché moon inside another paper maché moon-womb):
I have recently done up a tutorial for an easy art project that combines acrylic painting with simple one-line ink drawing techniques. While the video was posted in early September 2018, the process for this artwork was quite long, spanning at least 6 months—as the creative inspiration emerged inconsistently, and the piece became connected to a larger theoretical project, within the context of mourning, about the semantics of the verb "to handle."
After a few mockups and "tries" and feelings of confusion/failure, I let the art project sit for awhile and returned to it when I returned to it.
What a lot of people tend to forget when judging creatives, intellectuals, writers, poets, etc. is that crafting ideas and making them legible not only to the artist but to those the artist wishes to share with is work. And oftentimes, the thoughts and ideas artists and writers work through are lived experiences that take time (yes, even years) to create from, emerge out of, and represent and share.
The current misuse of power and the unequal distribution of wealth (all over the world) carry specific sets of violent histories. Given ongoing colonization and white supremacy—with histories that date back centuries—there is urgency to much of the work that intellectuals and creatives have crafted and are continuing to craft. As communities, it becomes just as urgent, then, to think about the care and (material) support these intellectuals and creatives require—especially women and especially indigenous, Black, and PoC, disabled, and non-binary folx.
If you have artists, poets, intellectuals, thinkers, writers, and so on, whose work you adore, try to see if they have an Instagram, a Twitter, and so on and follow them that way. Also, check to see if they have Venmo or Patreon account (or something similar) set up and support them that way. These are current platforms that make directly supporting the work you like, appreciate, and think is important easier.
For (Young) Adults:
Natalie Wee’s Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines was given to me by a dear friend in my first year of graduate school at the University of Alberta. Being close to the both of us, my friend first recommended Wee’s collection to me and then gifted it to me soon after on my birthday. I return to it often, and it usually sits beside my bed. I just lent it to another friend to read.
The movement in Wee’s work is at once mutable and still (a language captured so beautifully on the book’s front cover snapshot of a plane flying over a saturated altocumulus sky). My favourite poems from this collection are “BUT SHE IS THE MOON” and "LONELY." I move with Wee where I can—I feel her words in my eyes. And her work is urgent; it is felt. Read her words and support them first by listening to them.
Wee, Natalie. Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines. Words Dance Publishing, 2016.
My name is Tasha Guenther. I currently live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada while I finish my PhD in Cultural Studies with a concentration in digital cultures at McMaster University. I enjoy writing short stories and non-fiction pieces for grade school children.
Alongside my learning, studying, and thinking about digital platforms and critical theory, I really appreciate long conversations with close friends, reading poetry, and taking photos of my cat. Learn more about me here or connect with me on my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.