Did you have a good Neurodiversity Celebration Week? To round off the celebrations we have an interview with the artist and poet, Athena Scott!
Emmy: Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Athena: I’m Athena Scott, I live in Louisiana in the USA, and I am a storyteller/writer/artist!
Emmy: What inspired your Changeling poem, “Swinging”?
Athena: When thinking about my own neurodivergent joy in childhood, I recalled one of my favorite stims: swinging! It was incredibly magical and grounding at the same time (funny how swinging through the air could feel grounding!), and I thought it would be the perfect subject for my Changeling submission. My art’s overall mission is to bring healing to those who find it, and Changeling was a wonderful opportunity to do just that!
Emmy: How long have you been creating?
Athena: I’ve drawn and created my own stories for as long as I can remember, but it became a serious part of my life when I was 12 years old.
Emmy: Where is your favourite place to create?
Athena: My art desk in my bedroom is my ultimate creative space, but I also love drawing and writing at my local library and at cafes!
Emmy: What were you passionate about when you were younger?
Athena: My first special interest was LEGOs! I was absolutely obsessed with them, and would spend hours every day working on my LEGO town. I also had a special interest in American Girl dolls, and the first time I went to an American Girl store, I ended up shocking the employees with my memorization of the catalog! When I was a little older, I developed a special interest in dollhouse miniatures, and my parents took me to a dollhouse convention! It was a fun time.
Emmy: What is your favourite thing about being neurodivergent?
Athena: Being autistic has given me a unique perspective on life, and while it can be tough to contend with at times, I love that I can bring different ideas to my community. I also appreciate the vivid imagination I have!
Emmy: What is your favourite thing about creating?
Athena: Bringing a story that once resided only in my heart and mind out into the world… that is an absolutely magical feeling. It cannot be matched. That is my favorite part of creating.
Emmy: Do you think being neurodivergent impacts your creativity in any way?
Athena: Yes. I honestly don’t know if I would be an artist or a writer if I wasn’t autistic. I might be, but my creative experiences would definitely be quite different.
Emmy: What would you say to encourage any aspiring creatives reading this?
Athena: It may be cliché, but: if you truly want to create, never give up. There will be times where your goals feel out of reach, or when you feel like your work will never have an impact. But if you are able to work through those fears and pick yourself back up, you will make it. And also: take breaks when it gets to be too much! Breaks are SO important. Taking a break, or even many breaks, is not giving up. A break allows you to sit back, take a look at your creativity, and return with a fresh mindset. You can do it, and I believe in you!
Emmy: Is Changeling your first time being published?
Athena: This is my first magazine! I have also been featured in newsletters and an indie art zine. I also self publish my comic, On The Throne Of Dreams (geared towards 13+)!
Find Athena @athenathestoryteller on Instagram, or their website athenascott.weebly.com
Changeling Annual 2023 will be published in Spring — keep an eye out for updates by following our Instagram.
Listen to Athena read their poem “Swinging”, and view their accompanying art piece below.