Looking in depth at the upcoming IMAGES Literary Magazine

With the combined efforts of the IMAGES staff and creators of the submissions, the Literary Magazine will be released soon!

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Looking in depth at the upcoming IMAGES Literary Magazine

Jessica Stochel, Staff Writer

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It’s nearing the end of the school year, and while students are anticipating the beginning of summer vacation, here’s another thing to look out for: the IMAGES Literary Magazine. At the end of every year, our highschool has been distributing these magazines thanks to the hard working editors and staff members of the IMAGES Club. In fact, certain magazines date back to as early as the 70s, a testament to how dedicated the students have been in keeping up with this annual project. Together they create a collection of artistry: poems, short stories, photos, drawings, paintings, etc. By emphasizing such crafts, IMAGES works to display the amazing talents of our many SWMHS students and inspire others to create art of their own.

This year’s theme, Illuminate, is certainly one that encourages inspiration in all of us. With the dictionary definition meaning to “enlighten spiritually or intellectually”, the message behind it is pretty clear. In the words of Ms. Scarpari, the Club Advisor, “Each of us look to be enlightened or inspired, whether it be to write a poem, draw a picture, or figure out a career. This theme relates to our daily struggle to find meaning in this world”.

Essentially, this year’s magazine will encompass the “personal revelations, changes, and/or developments that all of us face”, as stated on the Cover Contest flyer the club released earlier in the year. To execute the theme, the magazine was organized by placing the more desolate pieces of work in the beginning in order to slowly transition into the more contented pieces at the end – matching the literal definition of “lighting up”.

“The theme ‘illuminate’ relates to all of us because, although we all have different lives, we share in common the need to discover who we are, learn from our mistakes, and grow” – Emily Dennis, grade 11

This process of organizing all the pieces of artwork is no easy task. To many in the club, it is considered one of the most challenging parts of the creative process. In choosing what goes into the magazine, the students must decide which art to accept and how to pair that art with the others based off of general consensus. In deciding whether or not a piece of artwork should be included, students factor in its relation to the theme, effort, and how appropriate it is for school. Just because a piece of artwork was not included does not mean it was necessarily “bad” per say, and unfortunately – due to spacing – a good chunk of submissions are unable to physically have a spot in the magazine.

On the flip side, this very process is also what makes the club appealing. “[I]t’s fun to be a part of a group that appreciates the importance of art and the many people with artistic talents” says Raigan Stokes-Carter, grade 11, who is an editor for the magazine.

Emily Dennis, a junior who is also an editor, adds on to this by explaining, “My favorite part about being in IMAGES is that I’m surrounded by art and creativity [….] We create a magazine that has the power to impact someone else’s life, whether they’re touched by words or visuals, and I find that really special.” Undoubtedly, these students take this challenge with stride and truly enjoy it for the sake of spreading creative expression.

Of course, creating the actual submissions is a challenge in of itself. “Students are often very critical of their work and are hesitant to submit,” explains Ms. Scarpari. It’s often hard for many students to find the confidence to make their artwork public for an entire school to look at, and unfortunately it means that many refrain from sharing some of the inventive things they create.

Marjaan Khan, grade 11, had some very blunt advice on the topic: “I did [create a submission] and the only reason I did it despite being nervous is knowing that people don’t really care enough about you to make fun of you or actively show that they hate your work.”  In other words, even if someone happens to not like a particular piece of art in the magazine, it’s not the end of the world, especially since there will be others that really appreciate the effort and time put into the submissions.

Emily Dennis explains her experiences with making her work public, explaining that, “Although I have shared my poetry with others in the past, I still don’t find it easy to do. If you’re nervous about sharing your art, I think it’s important to remember that the world needs your work because it’s unique to you. It may not be easy to do, but your art matters and you never know who else it will matter to as well.” Hopefully such advice will encourage even more students to submit to next year’s magazine and gain the confidence to share their work with others.

When the students take a final look at this year’s product, Kirsten Francisco – a junior – hopes that “students will realize that talent comes in many forms, and that one word, such as ‘illuminate’, can be interpreted in so many different ways, depending on the person and their experiences, which can inspire so many different forms of creative expression.”

Raigan Stokes-Carter herself wishes that “students learn from the magazine that art is essential in our school and everyone deserves to show their skills. I hope they get inspired to share their own artwork or stories.”

Ultimately, IMAGES hopes that students understand how important art is for expressing ourselves, and hopefully we can all find a bit of illumination in our own lives, too. Stay tuned for the release of their 2019 issue, Illuminate, expected to come out within the final weeks of school.