(At some point last year, I was tasked with writing a short non-fiction piece based on something I remembered. It was a vague assignment, but it made me think of what is presented in my first paragraph below: when I colored inside of the lines of a coloring book. From there, I connected it to my creative life, and my film writing.
I didn’t realize how fitting it was for my site until now.)
I vividly remember the first time I colored inside the lines in a coloring book. My dad, a police officer at the time, had gotten off of a night shift and was taking a nap. I ran to him, ripped sheet in hand, and presented my art. A red apple with a green worm sticking out of it’s left side. He woke and smiled, genuinely, and told me he was proud. Before that time, I had trouble with control of the crayon. As a five year old, I would divert outside the lines, unintentionally. The urge to finish it quickly overcame the urge to make it soundly.
Years later, I would create my own comics. Five pieces of computer paper folded horizontally down and then stapled on the fold, on the top, middle, and bottom. I never read comics as a child, so I don’t know where my drive to create came from. My stories were never completely my own, but strange retellings of other, more popular tales. One series featured Star Wars-like characters, though in vegetable form, titled Veggie Wars. Another was a take on Superman, starring a bar of soap, called Soapman. These tales were eventually ripped up, when I became self-conscious of them. My creativity, in those early years, embarrassed me.
Today, I write. I write film reviews mostly. Having watched a film, I write what I think, what I would have changed, what I loved. I’ve never had an urge to make a film, but I am fascinated by the art of it. With so many pieces coming together, it’s hard not to be impressed. Film is so much more than just watching a story unfold before your eyes. It is an experience, both during and after, because films lend beautifully to discussion.
But, like my other excursions into art, film reviewing is dependent on a preexisting element: the film. My thoughts, though genuine and true to me, are nothing without the film. But I’ve realized that that is okay. My creative life has revolved around taking something and making it mine. It’s only recently that I have decided to accept that.