The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Artist/writer instructs students on creativity

By Hannah Weehunt/reporter

Shay Youngblood

Creativity, laughs and tears were flowing as a guest speaker talked to NE students and faculty about the inspiration and creative process of writing and painting.

Shay Youngblood, an artist, playwright and novelist, talked about her work, her life and her inspiration for becoming an artist.

Youngblood began to write at the age of 10 when she first started to realize the injustices around her.

“I never felt need or want, but I could see it. In the act of writing, I felt so much better,” she said. “It didn’t change that thing [injustice], but it changed me, and that’s what matters.”

Injustice fueled Youngblood’s writing for many years, and it shows in her work. Many of her books and paintings reflect the challenges of life and the family and friends that got her through.

Youngblood’s first published work was The Big Mama Stories, a collection of short stories based on the women who raised her.

“I wanted to give those women who raised me a voice,” she said. “Most of them couldn’t read or write … I literally wanted to put words in their mouths.”

This same inspiration drove Youngblood to write her first play, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, which recently finished a run at Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre.

After the terrorist attack of 9/11, Youngblood, who lived in New York at the time, was so traumatized she said she lost her ability to write. From this experience, she found her love for painting.

“I just started weeping and weeping and weeping, and then I painted a picture,” she said.

Youngblood poured just as much of herself into her paintings as she did into her writing. She wanted people to enter into the world of her paintings the way they would live the world of her books. Eventually able to write again, she decided to combine her two loves and write a book for artists called Hotel Stories.

In describing her creative process, Youngblood emphasized the importance of discipline.

“You have to show up everyday not just when the inspiration hits,” she said. “You have to tell yourself to do it.”

Youngblood’s discipline and attitude helped her get where she is today.

Kim Rice, a NE accounting student, was moved by Youngblood’s story.

“I have always wanted to write,” she said, “and she just really inspired me to continue.”

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