Can you tell me what kind of art you do?
I’d say writing, mostly. Non-fiction, one line poem things

Why do you write?
It’s cathartic, a way to realize things about myself that I wouldn’t otherwise. It’s a good self-analysis thing.

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How does it feel to you when you share your art?
Sometimes good.
Generally I don’t. I'm very selective, I don’t make it available to everybody. Or I do it anonymously. I'm still guarded about it.

How do you determine when a piece is finished?
Some things are definitely done in my brain. Wherever it is, that’s what it is. But I've written stuff and years later pick up where I left off and treat it like a draft. I think sharing it with people sometimes makes a thing dead and that’s how it’s perceived forever. I like that idea that you can just amend things, infinitely, that art is subject to always change. It’s a living breathing thing. 

Do you have a writing practice?
For purely expressive stuff, where everything is just effortless, like word-vomit. Nothing super regimented like I wake up at 7am I write this amount of words, do that tomorrow, do that the next day. I've just kept up with it since like 17. At this point it’s like a long-standing habit.

Do you ever sit down to write and you just feel like you’re pulling teeth?
That’s the thing that’s exhausting about it. You have an idea and you think it’s a really clever idea and you go to put it down and it doesn’t at all translate the way you thought it would. That’s another thing with sharing it with people, it’s something super intimate and meaningful to you and then you show it to someone and it just doesn’t mean the same thing to them. But going to write it in the first place is for sure pulling teeth. I'll scratch it until there are new ideas.

Does that create anxiety for you?
Yeah it does, I keep making it less and less a priority though to where it’s a non-issue each day. I set aside time and once that time comes if I feel like doing something else that’s easier to do, an instantly gratifying habit that’s probably what I'm going to do. My main issue is not prioritizing creating.

Do you think art can change the world?
It’s changed me, it’s brought a lot of meaning to my life- but I'm a taken care of person. I have any and all necessities. When people have a need for those things I don’t think art is what’s going to save them. Not in a direct way.

Does being somebody who creates connect or isolate you?
It brings me closer for sure. Even just speculating on art, those are all the more meaningful relationships in my life.

Have you ever sat down with an idea which shifted as you were working on it?
I think the more brilliant ideas are the accidental ones.

When did you first identify yourself as a writer?
I still don’t. 
Um. No I still don’t for real. As far as aspiring towards that, we’ll say when I was 19. I was trying and I liked some of the stuff I was doing and I got a lot of attention on MySpace. I think that was the time of trying to identify with that the most.

Do you have a relationship with your ego when you’re writing?
Yeah, and I need to develop more of a practice of pure expression where you fully do whatever you want in any medium. Your ego will still come through but it doesn’t matter. But then when you’re trying to  compose a piece with a purpose behind it, I think you can’t avoid that.

What is the purpose of art?
Whatever. I don’t know. 

For me, meaning and growing as a person. I think there’s a place for it to go in a practical direction. Which kind of goes back to if art can change things. In a way it can, if you consider everything art, if everything is some sort of expression. But for me meaning and expanding my consciousness. 

What do you think is the greatest thing writing has ever done for you?
Connected me with myself. And other people sometimes.

What about the worst?
I don’t know, even that’s good. Like the most depressing thing with writing your problems down all the time is realizing how repetitive they are and how nothing ever changes. So self-awareness that’s a good thing, that’s a start.

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How do you define success?
Money. Power. Respect. 

Uh… just kidding.
Partly kidding. For me personally it would be financial stability and spending my days in a way that makes me happy. I just heard something recently I've never thought about but it makes perfect sense; “you’ll never work a day in your life if you do what you love.”  And, like a lot of aphorisms, that’s kind of garbage. Rather, I would like to work overtime at a thing that I love to where it’s practically bleeding me dry. So if that’s what I did for work, that’d be success. Even if I was as broke as I am. But yeah probably those three things: money, power, respect.


Right. 
How’s the health of your imagination?

Generally pretty good. It wavers. I think there are things I could be doing right now to stimulate that more so right now the laziest it’s been in a long time. Yeah. Wait repeat it again?

I’ll go with 2 out of 5, 2.5 out of 5.

What are you most thankful for?
Uh. 

I’m trying to answer that in a real way.

My privilege and my friends. Yeah I think that’ll suffice for now.

What gives you strength?
Encouragement from other people. Care for the world around me. I feel like there are things that are worth it out there you know. That’s going to be my big answer.

-Jacob Roe