SHEENA BARNETT: Art should inspire more art



I’ve never been one to listen to an album, watch a TV show or read a book and then put it away without another thought.

I fall in love with characters and melodies and words and ideas.

The really good art – the kind I really connect with – takes root inside me and grows and becomes a part of me.

There’s nothing wrong with a good pop song, a popcorn movie or reality TV. But finding that one band, TV show, movie or book that inspires you to believe in more than this boring reality, to create something that’s both yours and a part of what you love, that’s special.

I love art that inspires more art and creativity.

I see it happening more and more, and I love it.

One of my favorite things in the world right now is a podcast (for those unfamiliar, it’s like a radio show, but on the Internet) called “Welcome to Night Vale.”

It’s kind of like a cross between NPR and “The Twilight Zone.” Host Cecil relates the news of the fictional town of Night Vale, where librarians are evil, no one is allowed in the dog park except for the hooded figures, and the town’s mayoral candidates are the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home and Hiram McDaniel, who’s literally a five-headed dragon.

But because it’s a podcast, no one knows what Cecil and his fellow Night Vale citizens look like.

That’s where fan art comes in, and these fans have let their imaginations run wild.

Within the “Night Vale” fandom, there’s a ton of fan art of Cecil, his boyfriend Carlos and fan-favorite characters like Tamika Flynn, who’s the head of a book-loving group of misfit kids. Race is very rarely mentioned on the show, so fans have drawn these characters as they imagine them, and sometimes they’ll swap the character’s gender.

It’s so cool to see how so many different listeners can listen to the same show, but what they imagine Night Vale and its citizens are like is all so different.

Another thing I’m loving right now is the #cloneclub.

That’s the fandom name for the BBC America sci-fi series “Orphan Black,” which is, you guessed it, about a group of clones.

On the show, one amazing actress, Tatiana Maslany, plays up to seven different clones, from the streetsmart Sarah to soccer mom Alison to scientist Cosima to assassin Helena.

And now, fans are doing the same. Fans take photos of clone versions of themselves, complete with different hair, clothes and personalities.

It’s allowing the fans to be who they are while showing off who they wish they were or who they never want to be.

These fans are exploring their artistic side, something they may have never done before or thought possible.

Art is fantastic all on its own, but art that inspires others to create is magical.

Sheena Barnett is the entertainment reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact her at

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