Influences + Inspirations

Who am I…?

I have always hated this question. Whatever my answer, I feel like I never adequately explain myself. In short, I am a Colorado native. A girl who grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains, listening to Sunday evening Bronco football games, and adventuring in open fields. I am now a third year college student at the University of Colorado Boulder studying Technology, Arts, and Media with an emphasis in Computer Science. This is the short answer, my thirty-second elevator speech.

So…what is the long answer?

That answer is not quite as simple. When asked to examine our creative influences and inspirations, I initially struggled with pinpointing specific sources. Growing up, I was always the kid who was creating something: my skillset ranged from making crafts with Popsicle sticks and cotton balls to drawing on the driveway with sidewalk chalk to testing new recipes in my easy-bake oven. However, I never exhausted enough patience to develop any of these creative interests.

As I grew into my teenage years, I strayed farther and farther away from my creative side and instead focused heavily on academia. By the time I entered college, I had convinced myself to pursue an engineering degree at a traditional, competitive engineering school. I hated it. After taking a Gap Year and transferring schools, I am now in a major that better aligns with my true passion for creating, designing, and tinkering.

How does this relate to my creative influences and inspirations?

When I think of creative influences and inspirations, I often first draw from personal experiences. Many of my favorite artists and creators have a memory attached to encountering their creative works.

Music: When I think of memories, music first comes to mind. When a specific song comes on the radio, I am immediately drawn back to a specific time and place.

  1. Taylor Swift’s RED album was my first major concert. Her music reminds me of fond memories with two of my closet friends.
  2. When I was homesick my freshman year of college, I listened to John Mark McMillan’s music. His music instilled faith and hope into a difficult period of my life.
  3. My dad loves classic rock music. So when I hear songs by the Beatles, I am reminded of spending time with my dad.

Books: I love reading. Some people like reading because it teaches them more about the world; I like reading because it offers a brief reprieve from reality.

  1. A childhood favorite, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, taught me the importance of giving.
  2. The first murder mystery I read cover to cover, Agatha’s Christy’s And Then There Were None, gave me reason to sleep with the light on at night. This is still one of my favorite books to date.
  3. I love dis-utopian novels such as The Host by Stephanie Meyers. I love the idea of trying to create something that is perfect, but inevitably fails to be so. I see this theme of striving (and failing) for perfection mirrored within my own life.

Quotes: I always find myself using quotes to relate to different periods in my life.

  1. “And in that moment I swear we were infinite.” – Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This quote perfectly embodies the feeling of being on top of the world in that perfect moment.
  2. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” – Robert Frost. Yes, I know this quote is often overused; however, I still find I can relate this quote to many transitional periods within my own life.
  3. “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” – Bethany Hamilton. In eight grade I gave a presentation on an influential role model, and Hamilton’s quote has stuck with me ever since.

Movies: My family loves watching movies together. Whether it be random foreign films or the latest Hollywood flick, some of my favorite memories are strolling through Blockbuster or surfing channels trying to find the perfect movie to watch as a family.

  1. The Bourne Series is a family favorite that my family will watch over and over again together.
  2. Begin Again is my favorite movie. As cliché as it sounds, this movie inspires me to follow my dreams.
  3. High School Musical is a movie series that defined my childhood. Whenever I see these movies or hear the music I am automatically drawn back to a very specific period of my life.

Postcards: I have been collecting postcards for as long as I can remember. I regularly exchange postcards with friends whenever I travel and vice versa. I love the idea of sharing a beautiful moment with someone via images and the written word. Mailing letters is quickly becoming a lost art form, but I still love the act of receiving mail. Postcards are my way keeping this art form alive.

Code: I always thought I hated coding until last year. Through creative and technical classes, I saw the many practical and creative applications of coding. I am beginning to realize the degree to which code influences many of today’s creative, technical pursuits. Simply put, I have quickly fallen in love with code.

Honestly, I do not yet have a clear direction for how I want to explore the Remix culture within my own creative pursuits. I am still struggling with which medium and topic I would like to further explore. I have always had a wide range of interests, so I am excited to see how I can intertwine my diverse interests into a well-focused, cohesive project.

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