Teen Creator Space

digital creator space with someone behind a desk on a computer

Being creative, and creating, can be simultaneously the easiest, and most difficult, thing in the world. For creative people, being creative often comes as second nature; however, creating consistently and growing your skills is tough. ("Practice practice practice"? Oof.) If you're a teenager, you're at a perfect age to turn your creative spirit into a positive explosion of creativity and growth. Whether you want to one day make a career out of your drawings, become internet-famous, or just make stuff for the sake of making it, you're at the nexus point where things can really get interesting. It's anxiety-inducing sometimes—but exciting, too.

Luckily, we here at the Alachua County Library District love fostering creativity in everyone, but especially our teens. That's why our Tower Road Branch is launching the Teen Creator Space—a new monthly discussion group and learning space for creative people of the teenaged kind. Each month, our Tower Road Teen Librarian will host discussions about creativity and craft in our Teen Space, along with an optional activity designed to help you learn new skills.

For the first session (March 1 from 3-5 p.m.!), we'll be making DIY journalsso you have a space to plan and practice all your creative stuff. This is a drop-in, drop-out sort of program, so please pop in whenever you can swing by. The rest of our spring sessions will include Sticker and Button Making on April 5 and a lesson on 3D Printing and modeling on May 3!

To help our teen creatives, we've also compiled this lovely booklist of creative resources aimed at or friendly to teen learners. So read on, come to Teen Creator Space, and, ooh, don't forget to submit art to our Spring Teen Art Show by March 17!

Happy creating!

Courageous Creativity: Advice and Encouragement for the Creative Life

Sara Zarr

Expert advice and encouragement are paired with exercises to help you face down your fears, let go of expectations, stop comparing yourself to others, and make your art with courage.

Alphamaniacs: Builders of 26 Wonders of the Word

Paul Fleischman

Profiles twenty-six authors with original and distinctive approaches to literature and language, from a man who used vanity license plates to tell stories and a woman who made new poems by subtracting letters from published works to people who studied word origins and variations.

I Am Me: Teen Artists and Writers Speak Out on Being Yourself

I Am Me: Teen Artists and Writers Speak Out on Being Yourself pairs award winning art and writing to empower teens to shake off negative influences and realize it is okay to be themselves. Each piece of art is skillfully matched with writing to reflect the attitude of a generation of teens who want to fit in, but feel inadequate due to societal pressures. This is a powerful book that can help young people believe that you don't have to achieve 'perfection' to be 'perfect.'

Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book?

Ally Carter

Have you always wanted to write a book, but don't know where to start? Or maybe you're really great at writing the first few chapters . . . but you never quite make it to the end? Or do you finally have a finished manuscript, but you're not sure what to do next? Fear not -- if you have writing-related questions, this book has answers! Whether you're writing for fun or to build a career, bestselling author Ally Carter is ready to help you make your work shine. With honesty, encouragement, and humor, Ally's ready here to answer the questions that writers struggle with the most. Filled with practical tips and helpful advice, Dear Ally is a treasure for aspiring writers at any stage of their careers. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at how books get made, from idea to publication, and gives you insight into the writing processes of some of the biggest and most talented YA authors writing today.

Crafting Change: Handmade Activism Past and Present

Jessica Vitkus

"Craftivism" means using handmade art to provoke, to interrupt, to draw attention to help others, and hopefully to spark change. Vitkus examines historical ways crafting served a political purpose and introduces readers to current-day makers and agitators who craft to make a statement. In showing artists and art in action, she encourages readers to get started on their own craftivist journey. 

Gamer Girls: 25 Women Who Built the Video Game Industry

Mary Kenney

Discover the women behind the video games we love--from the iconic games they created, the genres they invented, the studios and companies they built--and how they changed the industry forever. From classic games like Centipede and Solitaire to popular modern games like Final Fantasy, Uncharted, and Halo, this book explores the work and history of 25 influential women in the video game industry and how their contributions ultimately built and transformed the medium that we know today.

What Color is Your Parachute? For Teens

Carol Christen

Today's adolescents face unprecedented challenges. As a teenager, how do you pick a great-for-you job or college major that will finance your future? You need a plan! The proven exercises in What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens help uncover what matters most to you, what you love to do, the kinds of people you work best with, and how to use the skills and interests you already have--on social media and elsewhere--to choose a major or career path that is uniquely suited to your passions, strengths, and goals. With the most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 and other challenges have altered high education and the job market, this new edition features time-tests techniques such as information interviewing (with sample outreach and thank-you notes), the latest job discovery tactics (both online and in-person), how to connect to and land great internships, and more. By implementing a plan now, you can make the most of high school and create a life you'll enjoy post-graduation!

You Are More Than Magic: The Black and Brown Girls' Guide to Finding Your Voice

Minda Harts

When you're a girl of color, figuring out how to find your voice and make sure everyone around you can hear it is essential. CEO and bestselling author Minda Harts knows--she's been there. And she's ready to walk you through it all with her own stories of success and the missteps that helped her grow--from running for high school student council when she was barely tall enough to reach the podium, to starting her own company, The Memo LLC, that helps women of color advocate for themselves and their careers.

Become an App Inventor: The Official Guide from MIT App Inventor

Karen Lang

Have you ever wanted to build your own mobile apps? App Inventor, a free and revolutionary online program from MIT, lets you do just that. With the help of this companion guide chock-full of colorful graphics and easy-to-follow instructions, readers can learn how to create six different apps, including a working piano, a maze game, and even their own chat app to communicate with friends—then use what they’ve learned to build apps of their own imagination.

Descriptions adapted from the publisher.
By CynthiaM on February 28, 2023