Active members of The Collective each take care to contribute a creative piece roughly once every 2 months. Each week a creative piece is selected to be featured Sunday at 2PM when research has shown that these thoughts of uncertainty in adulthood spike.
The Collective takes 10-20 minutes out of their day that Sunday to view and add to the discussion in a communicative, supportive and thoughtful way.
The contribution from our Collective members can be anything generative. The Collective's definition of generativity is anything that you have created from your thoughts that can now be experienced on this earth. You will see examples of these postings, below.
Sabrina Drescher, Los Angeles
I think in terms of tattooing through working with other bodies. My body has never really felt like my own and with so many different attempts with negotiating ownership with my own body, nothing has really worked.
Tattooing has made me proud of my own skin for the first time and has made me feel like my own body was truly mine.
- Sabrina Drescher, @Stab.Dee
Click here to play featured podcast and read accompanying text and tattoo related photos, below.
Our community member showcase today is Sabrina Drescher, a CNN featured, internationally recognized, Los Angeles based tattoo artist dedicated to pursuing and developing what she believes reveals, not covers, the human body.
We begin our conversation speaking about where she got her start to find herself as a stick and poke and machine professional tattoo artist in dorms at scripps college. She follows up debunking the myth that you need to go through formal programming to become a professional tattoo artist.
We then lead the conversation into speaking about what receiving your first tattoo is like and what it is like for her to give a person their first tattoo.
We then dive into what it is like to simply go with the journey of the experience of receiving said tattoos, rather than focusing on the end.
We then close by talking about why she does it, what she gets out of not only the experience of giving, but also receiving one of the 50 tattoo’s on her body.
She is currently based in Los Angeles, California and, frequents New York City, London, Germany and Washington D.C., her hometown, to see clientele.
Maxwell Knowles, Berkeley
The experience of art cleanses the emotions; through it we touch the wildness of life, and its basic intractability.
- Aaron Copeland
Our leaf today will be in the form of three poems from our bud and a good friend of mine, Maxwell Knowles. He grew up in Los Angeles with an acting past in several commercials and I think I may be jealous of him as when I was growing up in LA, I also auditioned for some pieces to be on TV.
He may have taken my spot in some of those commercials that were rightfully mine.
In my opinion, he is one of the strongest creative writers I have read in our age group in particular to word usage, structure and play - save, of course rappers that we have grown up around who typically develop their talents in their mid to late teens, and early twenties.
He has worked under two cutting edge professors at the peak of their careers, so I am excited for you to read what he has for you.
There is a brief introduction on who he is, three poems and an outro explaining what they mean...
I’m the third of four kids from a conservative Christian homeschool family and the second of three brothers to go to Claremont McKenna. Today, I’m still Christian, but not so conservative. I like to tell people I dig Adam Smith and then reference his Theory of Moral Sentiments, pretending like The Wealth of Nations doesn’t exist. My parents tell me that I didn’t talk for awhile growing up, and I struggled with reading and writing throughout elementary school. In high school I listened to Coldplay and Jon McLaughlin, wrote my own lyrics, and also picked up piano.
My whole family has acted to some degree, varying from theatre to TV shows to independent film to TV commercials. I personally worked from my toddlerhood through early high school, mostly shooting commercials, with a few neat scenes in shows. My claim to fame is pretending to shoot a spit wad at William Shatner in Boston Legal (Red cap, 28 min, 35 sec - 29 min, 20 sec).
In college Henri Cole and Leland de la Durantaye inspired me to chase down poetry. The art form comforts me, as it is an attempt to bring order to ambiguity and mixed feelings. It has helped to keep me soft in tough times and has cultivated patience that has helped me with everything from tough conversations to competing in the javelin throw in track and field. It’s a humbling art form that I hope to practice for the rest of my life.
Below you’ll find three poems — an untitled poem I wrote driving home in a van last fall, a second titled lucid dream that I wrote last summer on a bus in San Leandro, and a third titled Night Walk from my first poetry seminar three years ago.
God is hiding
behind an opaque film
of false conceptions,
an idée fixe defined
by the transient
fact has endangered truth
and now only metaphor
can save it.
love is a lucid dream,
where you feel awake,
but are surprised it is so;
where you swear you act
by your own will,
superfluous to how
she’s stripped you
of your agency;
where you wish this
new place you’ve found
would never end;
then you wake up.
I walk in the cool dark and
My breath shows against
a lonely lamppost
for creatures hidden.
They follow through thickets,
Counting my steps,
“One, two, three…
I feel my feet wet
in the clasp of dew
reflecting the lunar luster
of a late hour upon the grass.
In still presence,
fall into fear.
Ignorance offers awe,
as the stars raise me
above the mortal doubts of time,
The first poem is my attempt to channel Wallace Stevens through my Christian lens. Stevens has become one of my favorite poets and thinkers, wrestling with projection and appreciating the role of metaphor. I would strongly recommend reading through his old notebook entries (please reach out if you want a short paper on that!).
The second was a piece that I wrote independent of any heartbreak at the time, trying to capture the experience of losing your control to gain something so beautiful, only to lose it, with no ability to go back. The poem is structured with visually thin lines, something I love about Kay Ryan’s work.
The last one is what I consider to be my first sound poem. I was creatively frustrated with the constraints of the class and my own inhibitions, so I did something new. I turned on Coldplay’s Ghost Stories album, coaxed my mind out of its conscious space and got completely enveloped in the process. It was neat. Regardless of how good the poem is, that experience was worthwhile and led to something I liked as a 19-year old, filled with space and consonance. Thank you for reading.
I once owned a book designed to provoke the imagination and help bored children discover constructive ways to pass the time.
- David Sedaris, Me talk pretty one day
I limit my thoughts in English these days, so writing this is both a freeing experience but also limiting. Right now, I can only express myself in Spanish from a restricted, but fast growing say… 1000 words that I have in my bank. But, the more I limit my language to English, the more static my overall word (and associated feeling and emotional expression) acquisition becomes, and overall, my attempt at being a life-long learner stagnates.
I was searching through my journal for something that would be nice for this week and I came across several pieces relating to color. The first draws from Kyoto, Japan in the fall. The Fall Colors.
Seeing the fall colors was an experience that made me re-realize that my brain could even experience such a wide array of colors. I could feel that in my day to day life, that I simply hadn’t seen that many hues of orange – and by no means on one single leaf.
Kyoto’s fall colors will remind you of scenes in a Miyasaki film, or the beginning of Okja, and the much celebrated land of the dead reveal from Disney’s Coco – most would agree that these are all visually stunning pieces of animation. I’m so glad I had the chance to see it. And Bruna, thanks for a wonderful visit. Alli, I’m sure I’ll see you in Japan next time.
The second poem that I’ll include in this selection is from my own thoughts and feelings on the color brown which while looking at the fall colors, the closest color that I felt to brown was orange. Probably because brown isn’t included in the color wheel. Or, and I think this is closer to the truth, because of its uniqueness.
red, yellow, orange, magenta
colors I can see, feel, taste
but not name
full scan, beauty
second scan, you observe
leaves are fulling
in the fall.
Smooth, caring, buttery
flowing with freedom
smiling without care
finding truth where
there is obscurity
finding need when