Creativity & My Old Cellmate, Notes From the Inside

Tiny - Posted on 15 August 2016

Jose H. Villarreal, Plantation Prison Correspondent

Editors Note: Jose H. Villarreal is one of several power-FUL PNNPlantation prison correspondents. As currently and formerly incarcerated poor and indigenous peoples in struggle and resistance with all plantation systems in Amerikkka, POOR Magazine stands in solidarity with all folks on the other side of the razor wire plantation.

*Artwork by David Velasquez

Five traits that are commonly associated with creative people are: Sensitivity, Flexibility, Originality, Playfulness and Productivity.

I must say that in my own experience, I have seen all of these traits in the artists that I have come across, including myself. I once had a cellmate who totally displayed these traits. His sensitivity was sharp. We would be watching TV and he would point out how the shadows from a tree showed where the sun was.

He needed shaders for his pastels and quickly improvised with pages out of a magazine (while I used toilet paper twisted up). Being in prison without proper tools was no obstacle.

My old cellmate had originality. He would create art on bars of soap that he carved into flowers. Sometimes he would fold old chip wrappers into picture frames.

We joked around in the cell. Sometimes we would see commercials and find out who the people in them looked like. Playfulness was always part of our day.

My old cellmate was very productive. He would constantly barter for canteen items and talk about ways to have his art supplement his income once he was released from prison.

Reading about creativity surprised me. I saw so much of this to be true. As an artist I see these traits in almost all artists that I know.

Creativity is such a universal character with artists, not just when their at their work station but in everyday life.

Jose H. Villarreal




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