Not Art School, But: On Continuing My Creative Journey in College

By Jaylin Paschal

"So, are you still going to blog in college?"

"How are you going to maintain your blog in college?"

"Do you think you'll be as into the art scene, with all of your school work?"

For whatever reason, a lot of people are expecting me to put my creativity on hold this semester. Especially since, I guess, neither of my focuses (political science and journalism) are directly (or indirectly) art-related or creativity-based.

Regardless of the fact that my studies do not traditionally go hand-in-hand with art, and regardless of the fact that I'm going to have to reprioritize some things to put education first, I have every intention on continuing my creative, artistic journey throughout school. I have every intention on posting to Creative Liberation regularly. I have every intention on taking photographs, and furthering my interest in design and layout, and visiting art shows or galleries.

Of course, with less free time, it's not going to be easy. But I wouldn't be me if I didn't find some way to incorporate art and culture with my academic life. I live at the intersection of these things--politics and prose, art and advocacy--anyways. That's what Creative Liberation is all about. I don't have to sacrifice law and policy and media in order to pursue art. I have to find a way to combine all of these things. Otherwise, I sacrifice my complete and honest satisfaction. And because I refuse to do that, I'm more than willing to remain flexible until I find that balance.

My mission in life is to embody the photo above, weaving beauty and art through the pillars of government.

If you're like me, trying to live between two seemingly different worlds of academia and art, here's some of what I do to stay sane:

Write essays/articles ahead of time and schedule them to post, that way your site has a steady flow of content, even when you're too busy to write during the semester.

  • A good time to do this is on break!

Smithsonian museums, even the history- or science-based museums, are good (free) sources of inspiration.

Post your creative goals or sneak peaks of your creative endeavors.

  • Sharing your goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable, as you're more likely to deliver if others are watching for the outcome or finished product.

Express yourself through tiny ways.

  • Small things like decorative notebooks you love, or a new, experimental make up look, or even making your salad bowl at lunch look extra pretty can keep your mind working in a creative way throughout your daily life, even when you can't focus on a big project or piece.