This is what I do. In fact, interdisciplinary art is really more than what I do. It's who I am. I spent most of my college career from my youth to my graduation from Goddard College's masters program just last year, marching to my own tune. When professors would ask me to choose one discipline or attempt to direct me to one particular path, I would end up looking for the places in between.
In my youth, I left college after two years and ended up a zookeeper, because I didn't yet know how to navigate this world of narrowness. So, I chose a science career that would require me to straddle so many disciplines on a daily basis that the career often burned other people out quickly. I did it happily for twenty years. But, eventually I returned to college because I kept finding myself called to the arts, in particular to creative writing and visual arts. I kept stumbling upon this idea that surely I could make more of a difference in the world through art.
Art has such power to move people, regardless of their age, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation. Humans can all come to a work of art and share a very similar experience from a similar place. Art done well, can evoke a visceral emotional response, even if those emotions vary by individual. So, I began to consider art as the perfect way to express my passion for the environment. I wanted to look at the human species and our connections to the world around us, considering our perceived place within that world and how it shapes and informs who we are and how we treat others, both human and non-human. So, it was with great relief that I found Goddard College, after busting my butt at multiple majors as an undergrad in order to fully explore my ideas. At Goddard, I was expected to work in three disciplines at all times. I chose creative writing, studio art, and environmental studies.
So, when you come to Creative Antics, you'll find that I continue to look for the places between. When I write, it won't be in one genre. And, if I can bend a genre to make something cross barriers, I will. In fact, you can look to The Ravens Crossing, for an example of just one project I am involved with that strives to cross barriers, helps to raise awareness, and works in new and interesting ways between multiple genres. It is one of my most fulfilling current projects, and I am honored to be working with two other gifted authors and a whole group of contributors to make our concept a reality.
The one thing you can count on in all my creative antics is a recurring theme of seeking greater respect for all living things. I feel strongly that we humans must learn a greater respect for each other if we ever hope to respect the world around us. There is no way to express how important I think it is that we find ways to focus on and embrace our similarities to others, rather than fearing our differences.
I was recently asked by a friend we'll call Amy why I wanted to do this"interdisciplinary thing." She feels that I intentionally make things more difficult for myself by refusing to simply pick a long established "normal" path and follow it to it's expected conclusion. Amy would like to see me choose to become a romance writer. She thinks I should pick one particular genre of romance, and write that exclusively. I have already assured her that I won't be taking that advice. Instead, when I write, I choose to work with diverse characters often "genre bending" as my colleague, Andi Lea, calls it. And, writing isn't my only practice. I don't intend for it to be. I cannot work in a narrow mindset, where I can only write about one particular type of person under one particular label. This just isn't me.
My answer to Amy was this: When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't want to point and say, there's a good writer, or there's a decent painter, or there goes that environmentalist. I am so much more than the combination of all three. And this in no way means I think I am better than those who identify with any of those labels. But for me, it's more important that I be able to say, there stands a good, complex, and wonderful human who refuses to be labeled, one who does her best to transcend expectations and norms and gives something different and positive back to the world. Because, we are none of us simply the labels society would place upon us. We are a beautiful mixture of light and shadow and color. The lines of our being easily seen by the naked eye are blended and shaded with our less obvious, but no less glorious, places in between.