What it’s Like to be an Artist at Stevenson

By: Karli Banas

Creativity can be found across campus whether it’s displayed on a wall, caught on film, draped on a mannequin, or performed on a stage. For an artist, having people see their work is imperative, but there is also a lot of pressure to create something the audience will enjoy. Many different artists can be found at Stevenson, yet they each have their own unique experiences. 

Junior Graphic Design major and Film and Moving Image minor, AJ Brown, feels his experience at Stevenson has been positive overall.  

“I feel as though my experience from the last three years, going on four, has been really positive towards what I want to become after I graduate,” Brown explained. He also credited support from professors and advisors in shaping his experience at Stevenson. 

Brown does admit that being an artist is not without challenges. “My work can be overlooked in a sense and some work is not always perfect.” However, Brown recognizes that challenge is necessary for growth stating “[it] just inspires me to continue to push even further.” 

Sophomore Jefferey’s poster

Sophomore, Sadie Jefferey, is a Graphic Design major who writes poetry in her free time. Although she considers poetry a hobby, one of her poems was published in the Greenspring Review. Jefferey explains her creative process for Graphic Design is much different than when she writes poems. 

“My artwork can range from just my own creative style or having prompts or clients asking certain things of me,” Jeffrey explained. “Poetry is more of a personal thing for me. I kind of write out what I feel and what my emotions are.” 

Despite her talents differing from others at Stevenson, Jeffrey maintains that she has support from other students. “All of my friends are mostly in other majors, and I would say they definitely push me a lot to continue doing what I do.”  

Junior Fashion Design major, Maryuri Navas, appreciates Stevenson’s small community. “Competition is fun and necessary to push creativity, but I like how it is easier to receive recognition for your hard work.” Navas also felt Stevenson has given her many opportunities to highlight her work, including hanging her drawings in the hall and being part of a fashion exhibit. 

Outfit made by Junior Navas

Navas did have some critiques on things she felt were lacking in her major. “As a fashion designer, I wish there were more classes to develop specific skills.” She went on to say she felt students would benefit from classes like shoe design, accessories design, or evening wear. “There aren’t a lot of classes available to fashion designers here,” Navas pointed out. 

Junior Nursing major, Katrina Manabat, has been singing since the age of four and began piano lessons at age seven. Manabat has performed at several events on campus, including the Founder’s Day Talent Show and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s coffeehouse events. She has also performed at few Filipino organizations’ events and galas outside of campus. 

Manabat is excited that the current COVID guidelines have allowed these types of events to take place in person again. “I feel my performance in the talent show my freshman year put my name out there and opened up other opportunities.” Manabat emphasizes that “there has never been a time when I felt uncomfortable putting myself out there creatively.” 

Manabat does feel that Stevenson could provide more events that allow students to show off their musical talents. “No complaints, but I’m sure there are some people that would want to express themselves a little more often than the once-a-month coffeehouse [events] or the once-a-year talent show.” 

Manabat believes Stevenson has provided her with plenty of opportunities to share her talent but acknowledges that having a few more events could be beneficial to other students who are looking to showcase their musical talents more. 

Brown, Jeffrey, Navas, and Manabat seem to feel at home here at Stevenson. Although they did have a few suggestions on ways Stevenson could further support their artistic endeavors, they all agreed that Stevenson had helped their creativity to grow and feel they have learned skills that will be valuable to their futures. 

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