The Author

Click the links below to read more about that topic.

About the Author

Giving Thanks

Spells and Software

What's up with the Teapot?

The Nature of Inspiration

Degrees of Creativity

Contact John

 

 

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Killing Time at the Lingerroot Inn

 

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Degrees of Creativity

Before I began writing fiction, I liked to tell stories in comic form. So by the time I was 17 years old, I was spending a significant amount of time balancing my fiction, my comics, and my other creative endeavors. Then in October of my junior year of high school, I went to what was then the MGM Studios at Walt Disney World. In addition to how creative and inspiring a place it was, I also got to see the animation attraction for the first time. I'd loved Disney animation since I was a wee little thing, renting all the classics over and over again. So to see how they created their masterpieces sealed the deal for me. I'd found my calling. I was going to be an animator.

The only problem? My high school no longer had an art program.
Undeterred, I spent my free time drawing a certain mouse in my notebooks along with a famous little mermaid and her friends. I saw Beauty and the Beast in the theater 5 times. I read articles on animation. Late in the process during my Senior year, I learned about a college that had an animation program. I threw together a portfolio and applied, even though my application was past the normal date. When I didn't get in, I figured it must because I hadn't been early enough. Thankfully, I had a backup plan. I would go to my local university for my freshmen year, major in art, and become a skilled enough artist to get into my school of choice the following year.

As often happens when you get to college, I learned a great deal about myself. For starters, I learned that I liked drawing for myself. I did not like drawing on a deadline. I also did not like figure drawing, which was a CRITICAL part of a classical art education, and a very important skill for someone who wanted to be an animator. Another thing I learned was that I had a much harder time with my drawing classes than I had with my writing classes. Writing was simple and fun. Drawing was a struggle. When I got rejected to my college of choice for the second time, I knew that it was for the best.

But what options did that leave me?

Since I enjoyed my photography classes, I decided to continue with art and minor in English until I figured it out. The next thing I knew, it was my Senior year of college. I was writing and submitting short stories to magazines, enjoying my photography and painting classes, and loving the multi-media and computer art classes I was taking through the night school at my college (since it was still in the early years of such things, and the normal art program only offered one or two computer classes).

After I graduated, I did the temping thing, eventually getting a job that enabled me to put my writing and graphic skills to use, both in technical writing and creating print ads for a small software company. I continued down the path of the technical writer, doing graphic work on icons and various side projects; and I still do that for a living to this day.

Yet even though my spare time is limited, due to all my creative writing projects, I still haven't given up on my other creative endeavors. All of the website design work on Ratrilpot.com is done by myself (for better or worse :-D ), and all of the cards I offer in the shop are designs I've created. In fact, all of the holiday cards are based on the designs that I've come up with for my own holiday cards, which I send out to my friends and family each year.

For me, it's not the writing or the drawing that's important, it's the creativity... and telling stories in any way that I can.