A writer’s journey from crafts to the craft

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 at 6:14 PM

From what I have made of it, art is change. It is contradiction. It is of this earth and beyond. It is metamorphic. It is the reaction and action and what you make of it. 

These are the ideas I chase when I write — the way I really want to when I can. I’m still working on doing them justice though. But it doesn’t discourage me, because I can always transfigure and salvage something from the raw material. Sometimes the process reminds me of when I was younger — I would make stuffed animals out of old socks and clothes my family would give me to tear up and reattach to the poor polyfiber filled critter in some Frankenstein-ish manner. If I saw a flower in the fabric worth saving, or an interesting texture, I saved it to be attached to another fated textile. 

Such is the way I attempt to write my poetry now: through scraps of phrases sewn together with images and textured syllables. I create these patchwork creatures to make sense of events in my own life; to present and mold my experience into something that I understand. I write primarily for myself, but sometimes I write for other people. If you know them and me well, perhaps you will find a piece of yourself hidden in a line. 

Even as put together as that may sound, it took me quite a long time to get there. Then, I had a life in crafts. I would later try drawing, but it wasn’t my calling. I also did theater, which is still a love of mine, but I felt as though I needed a retreat and a way of reflection. I began to play music and write. 

Little by little, I learned songs and wrote terrible, tragic love poems. At the same time, I expanded my soundscape, listening to hundreds of genres I didn’t even know existed. Suddenly, my passions developed in front of me, and I didn’t feel so limited and confused. It was a slow process at first, but growing older and gaining confidence in my abilities built a steady momentum over the past few years. 

My family has also played a big role in inspiring me to find my craft. Artistic talent runs in my family as much as the next gene. My grandfather was an artist writer and musician, my grandma is an artist, my father is a multi-instrumentalist musician, my uncles play drums, I play music and write, and now my younger brother seems to be growing into a talented young artist. Arts both visual and audio surrounded me growing up — I’ve been to quite a few gigs over the years and listened to many, many recordings of the ones I couldn’t go to. 

Being surrounded by such expression and creative experiences has shaped my deep appreciation for art in all forms. Whether a song gives thousands a voice, or a painting is done purely for aesthetics — I’m thankful to be able to see, or hear, or feel something from art. I’m thankful for the ways in which it has connected my family and me, and helped me to meet some of my best friends throughout my life. 

When I first came to college, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. I started on the right track as an English education major, but it wasn’t quite the right fit. I wanted more out of my education, and as I took more English courses, I realized that what I really wanted to do was write. I began writing more poetry and joined The Spectator my sophomore year to practice nonfiction writing. I started off by writing music reviews, but gravitated towards the Arts section as time went on. I found myself in a familiar place and was thrilled to find opportunities to give other artists a platform. 

So now, my major has been changed to English writing and all I seem to do is write. As exhausting as it can be sometimes, I know I’m blessed to be going to school for my passion. Although I would be lying if I said I knew what I’m going to do when I graduate, I know that as long as I keep trying to make sense of my life as I experience it, I’ll figure it out. 

Art is life, and life is beautiful and harsh and full of experiences to learn from. Learning and understanding is not always easy, but once I put the pieces together, I craft my own peace and embrace the complicated nuances that stitch it all together. 

Livia Homerski can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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