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Creator Spotlight: Riley Tomes

My Story

My relationship with art, much like my taste in music, is all over the place. I’ve been performing in various plays and musicals for over 13 years and acting had been my creative outlet for the longest time. Of course, when the pandemic hit, I had that outlet ripped away from me and was scrambling to find artistic solace somewhere. Enter, poetry, graphic design, and editing videos! Poetry especially is a way for me to express my thoughts and anxieties in a non-linear fashion, and I love learning about other people through how they see my work. I now post weekly on my poetry Instagram account, @cherrycolacosmos! I also started some video editing. As I am so young, (I’m 19!) I am growing and changing constantly in uncomfortable and incredible ways, and I wanted a way to document that, so I started filming bits of my life and compiling those in YouTube vlogs - it’s a type of creating that is much more technical than what I usually do, and I love that! I also then branched off into some basic design, and even set up an Etsy shop to sell the stickers I designed!

My Craft

I’m a little old-fashioned when it comes to writing poetry - I’m a big fan of any old notebook and Pilot G2 pens. I love how accessible poetry is - you need very little to build yourself a poetic palace. I try to write as often as I can. I used to think I had to wait for inspiration to strike until I started writing daily for April, National Poetry Month. That’s when I realized that when I sat down to write, I would find ideas floating around in my mind that I never would have noticed if I hadn’t given myself time to write. The same things go for design and video ideas - I have to carve out time for creativity. For editing videos, I use Canva and I try to do a lil bit daily because if not I get too overwhelmed. I try to make creativity a daily habit because I’ve found that creativity feeds into more creativity - one of the stickers I designed was actually inspired by a poem I wrote!


If you are interested in writing poetry, just start! I prefer pen and paper but a notes app poem is always a good place to start! Just go for it - collect words you love, feelings, moments, pocket lint, googly eyes, cool-shaped twigs, secrets, anything you can find and start throwing it on the page - it doesn’t have to rhyme or make sense to anyone but you!

If graphic design or video editing is calling your name, focus on what you want to make and just do it! Borrow from other people - find colors, shapes, phrases, and camera shots you like and find a way to use them as inspiration for a new design. I think the hardest part about sharing anything you create is the fear of others' judgment. I try to ask myself often if I am acting out of fear or love - am I not sharing my work because I fear judgment? Or am I sharing my creative ideas because I have such a loving passion for them, and that love is what should win out every time. That being said, it’s easier said than done!

Favorite author or book?

My favorite book is Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne!! I have my mom's edition from when was super little, published in the 60s and I absolutely treasure it. The stories encourage me to embrace a sense of silliness and wonderment, as well as ground me in my important relationships - the people who cherish me regardless of how anxious or stressed or "too much" I may feel at times!!

Interested in submitting your work to be featured on a Creator Spotlight? Email me at or go to Contact.


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