Cultivating Creativity in a World Gone Awry, HANNIBAL, DEAD SPACE, And More
In this Issue:
- Horror History: Cultivating Creativity in a World Gone Awry
- Image of the Week: Grace and Tim
- Tiny Bites – This Week’s Best Horror Headlines
- Things We Love: Rob Sheridan’s Back At It Again
- Hey, That’s Us! – Shudder in the News
Cultivating Creativity in a World Gone Awry
By Melissa Kay
Six o’clock finally rolls around and I close my laptop as I breathe a sigh of relief that the work day is finally over. I brew a fresh cup of coffee, change into comfier clothes, pull my hair up, and sit down at my craft table. I spend the next five minutes swiping through horror movies and settle on a couple of old favorites that I plan on crafting along to. Coffee brewed and movie queued, I can feel the excitement set in as I settle in to work on the new hobby I picked up during the pandemic: making miniatures and book nooks.
Cultivating creativity amidst the broken world of the past year is something of a feat, especially for those of us who escape into creative hobbies and endeavors after a hard day’s work. In a year that forced us all to become more insular, and live even more entrenched in our heads than ever before, the dividing line between the home and workplace blurred and a lot of our primary means of “escape” all but disappeared.
I’m an artist and with the extra free time I spent in isolation I experimented with making art in all the old ways I used to. However, it was nigh impossible at times; so many things in the world were happening that doing something like drawing a Halloween III illustration felt like pulling teeth. It felt meaningless amongst the horrors of reality.
One day, I read a tweet somewhere that spoke of art as something that would save you. Save others. Horror movies have saved me, time and again, and so has reading. Finding comfort in horror movies amidst the everyday challenges we face is something that helped a lot of us during this past year of extreme turmoil. After all, what genre better reflects the madness of 2020/2021, but also what other genre offers–to those weirdos like us–some of the greatest comforts and acceptance? And so, in a way, the insularity of the last weird year inspired some of my best work yet, and launched brand new hobbies.
As the world pushed me deeper inside my head, these little miniature rooms, these little nooks, are what I found there. And the throughline aesthetic of horror bound these images together with the genre’s ability to mirror the awfulness of modern pandemia, but also its ability to offer solace, entertainment, and thrills in the face of such awfulness.
Finding inspiration to be creative in difficult times isn’t easy, but it’s something that is possible. Using it as an outlet to express rage, finding temporary distraction with repetitive activities like building something, or cooking, or discovering new things about yourself–all these things can take place when we let it. Finding things you love and excite you can be enough to jump-start working on something of your own. For me, building miniatures has become a bit like active meditation–sometimes it’s mindless, and sometimes it’s a challenge that feels fresh and new. I’m doing something with my hands that forces me to be creative in different ways than I’m supposed to for work as an artist at my game designer day job, or even my previous passion projects as an illustrator.
Cultivating creativity doesn’t have to be something you’ve done before. I’ve always liked miniatures but it was never something I considered collecting, much less making myself, until I stumbled upon another artist’s book nook and wanted one for myself. Let yourself be inspired by other’s art as a way to motivate you. Enjoy the media that excites you and find a way to channel that into making something for you. Use your limitations as a way to inspire creative solutions. Watch horror movies. Read the liner notes on a vinyl record. Buy a guitar. Go on walks and collect sticks.
Just remember: there will always be room for your art, if you make it.
Melissa Kay is a game designer by day and a dream warrior by night. When she’s not busy reading or binging horror movies, she creates art, miniature art, and words about art all over the matrix at places like Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death.
IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Grace and Tim
While filming for A View to a Kill, Grace Jones would often come to the set of Ridley Scott’s Legend, where she would hang out with Tim Curry as he went through makeup and costuming to become Darkness. Oh, to be a fly on that wall.
HANNIBAL, DEAD SPACE, AND MORE
Looking to get into horror fiction but not sure where to start? Book Riot is here to help you find your niche.
Neon Splatter looks back at Spider-Man: Hooky, which featured artwork from legendary horror artist Bernie Wrightson.
The Irish Times has a thoughtful essay on one of the most polarizing statements in horror: “That didn’t scare me.”
Horror history buffs will want to read this great piece about Universal Studios Florida’s ride Revenge of the Mummy.
Artwork inspired by Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal is going to be hung up in the U.S. Capitol.
TheGamer pens an op-ed that outlines why EA needs to remaster the Dead Space series.
John Steinbeck has a werewolf novel and people are howling for a chance to read it.
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week and Ghouls Magazine wrote a wonderful and deeply personal piece to acknowledge the importance of the topic.
Looking to add a new horror podcast to your library? Rue-Morgue interviews the sisters behind Nightmare on 5th Street.
Edgar Wright is back for more horror with Last Night in Soho, which just released a trailer.
FANGORIA has launched the first of five parts in an essay that examines the making of Michael Almereyda’s Nadja.
THINGS WE LOVE
Rob Sheridan’s Back At It Again
Rob Sheridan has expanded his Glitched Goods collection with new items. Themes include Twin Peaks, The Shining, and…the blue screen of death? Sure, why not.