SPOTLIGHT | Grace Szucs
How would you describe yourself?
Quirky. Stubborn. Brave.
What role does creativity play in your life?
Creativity is a barometer. When it’s is present, everything I do feels connected. I find a thread of continuity between a genre, a physical activity, a personality, a risk--they inform one another. If I find my crafts abandoned under the couch and work feels like a slog, I am probably approaching or in a depressive phase. I do sure enjoy the ride when it’s flowing, and try to be patient when it’s not.
What are you currently working on?
My latest venture is in website building and design. Right now I am working with templates, but I’ve been taking advantage of the Canada Learning Code (formerly, Ladies Learning Code) workshops to dip my toes into technical skills like Photoshop, HTML and CSS, and concepts like machine learning. I find these basic intro classes to be so incredibly helpful for framing the new ways of thinking you need to learn these skills.
What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Here are a few episodes I’d recommend.
“If a Badger Dreams” an episode from Out There is the story of Charles Foster, the naturalist who spent a year living like a badger.
Mystery Show, by Starlee Kine, is filled with the most excellent writing. Her style is perplexingly familiar and unique at the same time.
David Rakoff’s story “Mister Prediction” on This American Life is about his failure to recognize some impactful trends. Given his perceptive writing and what he was able to accomplish in his life, these stories are a gift.
I’d also recommend Roxane Gay’s book of essays, Bad Feminist, particularly the essay on Scrabble, “To Scratch, Claw, or Grope Clumsily or Frantically.”
What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?
I don’t want to tell anyone else what to do, but for myself, I’m trying not to aim for the dull plateau of happiness. This year I started to play roller derby and signed up for a four-day camp in the middle-of-nowhere-Nova-Scotia to learn to shoot an arrow from a horse. I hadn’t tried to learn a new physical skill for such a long time--learning to roller skate put me back in my childhood shoes, which is a frustrating, but humbling place to be. I recommend it.