Anyone who spends time with Scout Invie, a junior English major at Westminster College, can see she’s driven by a creative force.
“Scout is constantly making art,” said Naomi Shapiro, a junior and friend of Invie’s. “She is either painting, throwing ceramic pots or knitting pretty much every time I see her.”
For that reason, Invie said many were surprised when she, a highly artistic student, chose English as her major. But for Invie, she said writing is the key to expression of her central core of creativity.
“You can apply those skills that you learned in English and art [to many areas] — like the ability to collaborate and talk to people and build off other people’s ideas and add that into your own artistic side,” she said. “There is a very creative aspect with communicating with other people, and I think that you can apply that to basically any skill in your life.”
The Forum sat down with Invie to talk about the role creativity plays in her studies, interests, outlook on life and desire to contribute to the community. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and conciseness.
Q: Why did you pick English as your major?
A: This is the question that I always get from my relatives, and I don’t know how to answer to please them. I chose it because I have a lot of interests and I’m very indecisive. I always loved reading and writing, but they incorporate so much more because you could be reading or writing about anything — like social justice, environmental aspects, art and aesthetics and all those things you would be researching and learning about.
Q: Where do you get your writing inspiration from?
A: I come from a really small town in Idaho. I’ve always kind of had that lifestyle where you’re involved in the entire community and everyone knows your whereabouts all the time. A lot of my creative writing classes focus a lot on the whole rural aspect of being tied up in everyone’s business and knowing everything about everyone. I’m writing a play right now on an outsider who comes into one of those communities, so I draw a lot from my hometown and my own experiences.
Q: Do you see writing as a creative outlet?
A: The creative writing courses are super fun and you learn a lot about yourself rather than the world. It’s very reflective. It’s definitely an outlet for expression and creativity. You just keep building on your ideas. I often start writing about something and it will just lead to somewhere else just from thinking about it.
Q: Did you have a mentor growing up who encouraged your interests?
A: I didn’t have a parent mentor who told me I should be reading and writing all the time. I don’t know exactly how I fell into it. But on the art side of things, my parents are super involved in art. My dad is a potter and architect, so he’s constantly building. My mom paints all the time. My earliest memories [are of] when we would drive across the country, because my dad builds houses in different states. We would be on these really long car drives and my mom would just hand a stack of paper to me and some markers and tell me to draw whatever I wanted. I just started drawing and eventually that developed into more creative aspects, like writing. I would just start reflecting on anything — whether it was doodling stuff, sketching stuff, writing about how my day was or my experiences.
Q: Do you apply your creativity anywhere else?
A: I started an internship [recently] with Utah’s Art Magazine [and its online magazine] 15 Bytes. So basically what I am going to be doing this summer is riding my bicycle around Salt Lake looking for public artwork — things you would not see in a museum, like murals and sculptures in neighborhoods. I’m going to be documenting and researching those and creating pathways between artists, the art community and the public.
Q: What would be your ideal career be?
A: Ideally, I like to say that I want something where I could just sit down and be creative, but I don’t know if that would really benefit the world in any way unless I was writing something that was pushing for some sort of change. I want to work with the community and incorporate different creative forms. Incorporating that creative side into communities is really important to me.