Question Time: Creativity

Question Time is a series in which we open the floor up to you, commenters. We invite you to share as you feel comfortable.

Do you do any creative things (artwork, web design, creative writing, photography, playing a musical instrument or instruments, crafts, knitting) for fun? If so, what are they, and what do you enjoy about them? Please feel free to share links if you have them!

Alternately, are there any creative things, works, or folks that you’ve been inspired by as of late [please warn for TV show/movie/book spoilers in comments]?

15 Comments

  1. I’m a writer and I do NaNoWriMo (I’m a Municipal Liaison, no less – link goes to my profile page on the site) for fun. (Most writing is fun for me, though, so even if it were an assignment, it would be fun for me.) Writing fiction is fun because I get to know a bunch of new people (my characters) and learn about all kinds of new things (whatever I don’t know that I need to research to make the story believable).

    I also knit, crochet, cross stitch, and sew. I have a Ravelry account, so there are samples of my knit and crochet projects over there. My current cross stitch project is profiled here. I don’t have any sewing projects up on the ‘net, though. I enjoy seeing things come together as I knit and crochet, and since I mostly like to stitch my own designs, cross stitching is more about seeing how the design I drew on paper works out on the fabric.

    I play the clarinet in a community band, which is loads of fun. I do it to meet people and play good music – it’s a great way to express oneself. I used to sing for church when we went to one that had a band rather than a choir, and singing is even more expressive for me. Sometimes I write songs and play the guitar. I also write music sometimes (I have a degree in composition). It’s all about expressing things I can’t get out properly using words.

    And I make artwork, some of which you can see over on Flickr. This is, again, about expression. I like to try different techniques and different media. Sometimes I work in clay, though there are no photos of that work on my Flickr account. Drawing from real life is especially fulfilling because I love to see how well I can capture a person or animal I know well.

  2. I picked up knitting and can make it look decent now, though I can’t do it when my shoulders are balky. I’d like to make projects for charities, people who are hospitalized/homebound.

    I used to be a creative writer (minor publications) but haven’t done much in this regard since I started using my scooter–I had to do too much immediate direct advocacy for myself and didn’t have the emotional/physical energy. Would like to get back to it.

    I used to do scrapbooking but just can’t sit up enough to do that or work at a table long enough without being in tilt.

  3. I used to do sewing and crocheting pretty avidly; crocheting hurts my wrists if I do it for too long though (unrelated to any of my chronic problems AFAIK), and we don’t have a lot of room for the sewing machine table right now so it’s folded up & stored.

    I’m working on a webcomic; two actually – long form (aka not strip comics, something more like an online graphic novel). I’m not sure how I’ll juggle doing two webcomics at once as that’ll be a LOT of work; I think I’m going to try and get ahead on one of them to give me some more leeway. Websites aren’t up yet, though.

    Inspiration – I just found this webcomic:

    http://hanna.aftertorque.com/

    the other day and while it has some problems (the name of it, for one, is Hanna is Not a Boy’s Name – gender essentialism much? it arises from a misunderstanding in the first chapter, though, I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse), the art is gorgeous. I think the coloring method is pretty and she does some really fascinating things with the panelling.

  4. I make jewelry–clicking my name should take you to my etsy shop. I love to break old watches, and I needed something to do with the parts that I dismantled.

    I love to write and draw, both privately, and I do blog at http://alternatelexicon.com

    I’m hoping to join a choir this fall, and am a total snob, so I hope I get into one of the snobby choirs!

  5. I knit and spin along with attempting to write. Knitting is my fist love, I’ve been doing it for over ten years now. I really enjoy knitting lace, cables, etc, even if it can get a bit frustrating. I just jumped into spinning from there. I’m pandaseal on ravelry, if anyone wants to add me.

    I can sew a fair bit and love the steampunk aesthetic. Pretty semi-period costumes that also allow me to work for a mad scientist? Yes, please! Not that steampunk doesn’t have it’s own issues with reflecting the kyriarchy and colonialism, but there are also spaces that try to avoid that.

    I don’t know if it counts, but I’m just getting started with making custom content for the Sims 3. I find the game lacking in many ways, but I’ve been a Sims player since the first game will probably play as long as they still make them and I’m still able to do so. I also love RPGs. I’m finding Guild Wars fun and I like fooling around with games on the Wii.

  6. @thetroubleis What steampunk spaces do you prefer? I stopped hanging out in steampunk places because of the rampant (not outright, but you know, fairly thinly veiled) sexism and racism. Not to mention lots of romanticizing of colonialism, ew.

  7. I enjoy making rag rugs and cross stitch, I like writing (though nonfiction rather than fiction) I wish I could play an instrument or sing because I really love music, but, sadly I defy all TAB stereotypes by being a blind person with absolutely no musical talent, though, actually having no aptitude for music does allow me to greatly appreciate the talent of those who do since it seems like something impossible and a little bit magic to me, that ability to write and perform amazing songs.

    I don’t know if this counts, but I have a bit of a flair for interior decor, a positive aspect of my OCD is that my need for order and symmetry in everything means I give a lot of thought to arranging ornaments, furniture, etc. (I can’t relax at home if everything isn’t exactly in its place, when we’ve had parties and I’m afraid things have been moved I’ve been known to get up numerous times in the night just to check that everything is in its place) which other people seem to appreciate aesthetically too!

  8. Besides writing at my blog on occasion, I really enjoy playing violin for a private orchestra and learning with my lesson teacher. I have gotten pretty good over the last few years of playing, and it provides a great social outlet in my community. Elie, my lesson teacher, has amazing patience and is all around a fun person to be around.

  9. I quilt and occassionally crochet. I find playing with fabric very relaxing when I can’t do much else.

  10. Well, I sing (baritone/bass; mostly musical theatre stuff), and I used to play harp (and want to start doing so again, it’s just expensive). I also know how to weave on a loom, though it’s a long time since I’ve done so.

    Singing is probably the most central to my existence as it currently stands.

  11. @Michelle: I really, really like http://silver-goggles.blogspot.com/ and http://beyondvictoriana.com/

    I’ll go to steamfashion on LJ to look at pictures, but I hear you on the racism and sexism that is pretty much everywhere. The is so much cultural appropriation and among other things that make me a sad panda.

  12. Knitting. Knitting has near as dammit saved my life, in my opinion. Which sounds daft, but. When I’m depressed, and my brain is informing me I’m useless (no job, no prospects, the usual), I can knit. I can turn a ball of wool into something – hat, toy bunny, whatever – and I’ve *made* something. It’s real and it’s tangible, and I made it. And that makes a hell of a lot of difference to me.

    It’s also something I can do when stuck in bed – my lower body is much worse with arthritis than my upper, and I have learned to pretty much pin down the needle with my not-entirely-useful left hand and do the majority of the work with the right hand, which is fine. So I can even do it when I have a migraine. Which is nice because my migraines don’t knock me out, they just make me wish they did – so I need something simple, low-stress, that I can do so I don’t feel like I wasted the day.

  13. (Because I can’t edit and I submitted too quick)

    I also write. Or rather, I try to. The migraines are making it incredibly difficult to, and the more I don’t write, the harder it gets – because then I beat myself up about not writing, which makes me anxious, which makes me less inclined to write. Or I feel like I should just “push on”, and clearly, I’m not a proper writer if I don’t sit down and write even when I’m one-handed and can only really see out one eye. *rolls eyes*

    I’d love some good tips from people who’ve been in a similar position – when I’ve researched writer’s block, there’s lots of “Set a time to sit down” – which is nice [i]if[/i] you can do that. But when you come to your time and you can’t see straight and you’re in too much pain to write, that’s just really off-putting. Same with the “Write every day” – if I could write every day, I wouldn’t be complaining I couldn’t write! Some days are not writing days, they’re “lay in bed hoping to be decapitated by a wandering orge so my head hurts less” days.

    So yeah – anyone else in this position?

  14. I do a bunch of different kind of art, though I’ve been slacking recently. I play piano, write, knit, crochet, draw and make plushies. I have also tried my hand at oil painting, sculpture and a few other art forms, but will probably not be able to try them again anytime soon. I did some composing and video editing as well, but I don’t know if I will continue to do so.

    Here are some of my plush toys that I have designed and made: http://ocelotofdoom.livejournal.com/#post-ocelotofdoom-2429

    Here’s a sweater I designed and made: http://nightmarekitty.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d182he2

  15. I’ve been writing fiction since I was eight, and am majoring in creative writing in college, but it’s sort of lost its appeal for me lately and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’ve started writing a disability blog, and become more into being disabled and also being a staff person for other disabled people. It’s uncomfortable to write stories for class, because disability is a huge part of my life and it’s sort of hard not to let that creep in there, but I feel like my classmates will either judge me for being “the disability writer,” or will just give me a ton of “constructive criticism” about how I need to explain disability more, or something. I always wanted to be a professional fiction writer but I just feel like there isn’t very much fiction with disability themes, and I don’t know who would want to read my stuff.

    Also I write and play pop music, which is awesome because I get to be stimmy.