The Comeback of Creativity

You want to know one of the things I did as a kid, back before the Internet was even a part of my existence? I made crafts! I cut and glued and colored and created. Then I discovered the World Wide Web, and soon Facebook came along, and before I knew it I no longer devoted any time to doing artsy things.

Today, I came back to my dorm after class ended at 10am (my M/W/Fs are short days) and noticed that we had still had some jingle bells and snowflakes hanging in our doorway from before Christmas break. I got up on a chair and brought them down, leaving four bare Command hooks stuck the wall with nothing to take their place. I thought of what I could buy to decorate for springtime.

My eyes then fell on my bookshelf, on a pack of floral patterned craft paper I’d bought last semester for my failed dorm council campaign (it wasn’t fun). I looked over at my printer and noticed that I also still had a pack of pastel printing paper, and suddenly, the idea came to me: I could just make decorations for free. So, with all the time in the world in my hands, I found flower patterns online, printed them off, and sat down cross-legged on the floor with my paper, scissors, and glue sticks. I began to work, and work, and work, and finally, I produced…

...these babies!! (Click for high-res.)

My roommate and my neighbor loved them, and I felt proud of myself for being to create something so simple and yet so pretty with my own two hands. Plus, it took up all of my downtime and kept me happily entertained. I can only wonder, how could I have traded something so fun as arts and crafts for something so empty as Facebook? Instead of spending hours upon hours scrolling through statuses and pictures, I could have made things.

As what I believe to be a consequence of my Facebook-less-ness, I’ve begun drawing more. I’m not an accomplished artiste, but I’d say I’m a pretty expert doodler; my notebooks, and the margins of my friends’ homework assignments, are filled with silly little drawings and cartoons that everyone seems to find endearing. I even started practicing how to sketch during philosophy class (probably not the best idea, though amazingly I hold a very high grade in that class), drawing the backs of my classmates’ heads throughout the lecture (probably a creepy thing, but I’ve produced some pretty decent sketches so whatever).

It’s almost like this huge part of my personality that’d fallen dormant is beginning to wake up. Now that I have nothing to block off my free time, my brain is compensating by pouring out all the imagination I’d tossed aside. It’s almost like an addiction; I need to draw, I need to write, I need so badly to read a good book.

As my big project, I’ve decided to make a gift for my eight-year-old nephew (shhhhh, don’t let him know). The last time I saw him, I asked him if he knew who Sherlock Holmes was (it’s my current addiction); he knew very little, and had never heard a Conan Doyle story. I knew he loved comic books, and I asked the following: if I adapted a Sherlock Holmes tale into a comic book, would he read it?

He said he just might.

So, ladies and gents, I’m making a comic book (and now that I’ve said it, I can’t take it back.) Yes, the story isn’t original, but I figure it’s a good way to expose this kid to some classic literature; plus, it’ll still take me quite some time to simplify Conan Doyle into more child-friendly terms.The art isn’t going to be Guggenheim-worthy, certainly–I’m a mere creator of cartoons, after all–but if my nephew likes it (oh, he better :D), I’ll be more than pleased. I plan to go all the way with this and self-publish a copy so that it’s an actual, bound book he can keep on his shelf.

It feels good to be creative again.

Now, a question: What do you think? Should I follow through with this comic book project?


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