One of the most important aspects of the creative arts fellowship is that we have a small, close-knit cohort where we get the opportunity to collaborate, bounce ideas off of each other and learn from each other.
The other fellows in my cohort are doing projects that on the surface do not seem all that similar to mine such as writing based on the works and life of James Baldwin or creating their own video game, however it is the diversity of our projects that makes our collaboration so special. In general, it’s so valuable to be surrounded by other creative people and see their passion and motivation for their projects. For example, something that I’ve been struggling through lately is a little bit of artist block/lack of inspiration for my project and the other fellows in my cohort have been so helpful in getting me through this obstacle. First, just seeing their passion and motivation for their projects helps re-energize me, but they also deal with the same struggles due to working on creative projects as well and they had such great advice for me to help me get through this that I may not have thought of before. I don’t think our group has encountered many obstacles this semester with our collaboration but potential obstacles could be that other people in different disciplines might not have knowledge about the specifics of someone else’s field and therefore can’t give them the type of specific feedback that they may need.
One skill that I’m really interested in exploring and learning that has been inspired by my cohort is digital media/creative coding. I am taking a coding course this summer for my major and I am really enjoying it, then after exploring Twinery and other methods of creative coding inspired by Josh’s project I have learned that I have a real interest in digital art and media in general. So, I have actually decided that I’m going to enroll in the studio arts course focused on digital art in my spring semester and really dive into this new area of artistic practice.
Another skill that I’ve been inspired to pick back up because of this fellowship is writing. I have taken on trying to write some op-eds this summer with Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform, inspired a lot by a fellow in my cohort who has a huge passion for writing and has based their project around that. Seeing her passion has reminded me how much I loved to write before I got bogged done by some of my STEM heavy courses and I decided that I wanted to pursue that again this summer.
Overall, getting to work with this group of fellows this semester has been such a valuable experience and I have already learned so much and can’t wait to continue learning more as we continue through the summer!