Staying in touch with your inner Artist

Written by Dani De Angelis

Last year, I realized that the issue that a lot of VISA students – nay, AMPD students – struggle with is that we don’t give ourselves enough time to connect with our own art styles. We’re often feeling stressed and overloaded and trying to manage our lives within the “College Triangle Diagram.”


For many AMPD students, I would argue that this should be a square, since we often neglect giving ourselves free time to create what we want to explore creatively. We stifle the brilliant ideas and moments of inspiration that pop up so that we can focus on whatever grade-related task is at hand. That got me thinking, and it led me to I develop an important reminder that I personally try my best to live by:

Do what made you want to come here.

Experimenting with your creativity outside of class time can be difficult as far as time allocation goes, but even if you find two minutes to doodle, you’re engaging your otherwise neglected inner artistic passions. If you can manage to reserve an hour to cultivating your creativity in whatever manner and medium you choose, you’re even better off. This is super critical, and I feel as if I can’t adequately stress how critical it is. At the end of the degree, you’ll have developed the skills, techniques, and familiarity with the arts to keep you going, but there is no professor or assignment telling us what we should be doing with our art and ideas, is there? There are no grades, there is no GPA to maintain. It’s all up to you. So where do you go with that muse that you’ve suppressed? How can you make sure it’s expressed – loud and proud?

Use your assignments as stepping stones in your own art. Maybe a particular technique doesn’t have much use for you, but every class you take changes the way you think about art – your art – and how you wish to express yourself and your unique style. Even if it’s not your area of interest, you’re still being tested and pushed from your comfort zone, which I find inspires crucial creativity.

As art critic John Ruskin put it, “When Love and Skill work together, expect a Masterpiece.” At the end of the day, it’s your passion for art that keeps you here. What will you do to nurture it?

Finding the Positive

Written by Chevon Gilzene

I have come to a point in my life where I am learning not to allow anything that life throws at me to disturb my peace. Take today, for example. I got to class early only to realize that my class had been moved to the other side of campus for the day, had my hair messed up by the wind, ended up being late for class, forgot my phone in the washroom after class and didn’t notice until after arriving at work (late), plus it was raining. But throughout all of this, I was determined to keep a positive outlook. This may seem bizarre to most people — I mean, my day started off horribly — but the way I see it, getting upset wouldn’t make my day any better. I wouldn’t get my phone back by getting mad at the world, and being devastated about my hair certainly wouldn’t fix it. The only thing that could turn my day around is insisting that I remain happy.

This has not always been my outlook on life. Actually, it was quite contrary. My favourite past time was ranting, as most of my friends can confirm, and although I wasn’t a negative person per say, I did allow my emotions to dictate how the rest of my day went. I always secretly envied those who could put a positive spin on anything, but didn’t think I could be one of those people. I’d often tell myself, “That’s just not my personality,” or, “I’m not negative, I’m realistic,” and I was content with that until I eventually got tired of complaining. I just wanted to be happy, and while doing research for my History of Gospel Music class, I came across Kirk Franklin’s at the time new single “Wanna Be Happy.” I listened to it out of curiosity and was really encouraged by the lyrics to take my life into my own hands. I came to the realization that I don’t have to allow outside circumstances to have control over my happiness.

Being positive can be difficult, especially when everything around me seems to say otherwise, but it gets easier everyday as I fill my mind with positive thoughts to replace the negative ones that I used to live by.

A Short Excerpt: The Life of a Playwriting Student

Written by Alex Colle

I was a pretty streaky writer for a long time. My problem was not writer’s block. My problem was having an inspiration to write.

Stageplay dialogue for 20% of my mark? That’s an inspiration.

I have a really good idea in my head? That’s not an inspiration.

Friend asks for a favour? Inspiration.

I’m bored and have nothing else to do? Nope.

This blog post? Yes.

The point is, although I love to write creatively, I was never confident enough to pick up a pencil – or open a laptop – and create an interesting piece of literature. I was under the impression that what I would write would be mediocre, and that there was no point in making something that was not going to find any success.

Boy, was I ever wrong. Playwriting at York taught me that. Read More