Stevie Bono, 16.
How did you get in to dance?
Well, I was a gymnast first and I saw a dance class at the studio across from my gym, and I was like, “I hate gymnastics.” I kind of wanted to start dancing and my mom was like, “yes let’s do that.” When I started dancing I was 9.
How did you get into photography?
When I was younger, but I started really getting into it with my friend Lily.
Do you prefer one art to another?
I prefer to dance. Or take photos for any type of art. It’s a physical activity and a way to get exercise, but also it’s a way to express yourself.
How would you define art?
I define art by a piece of work that someone has deliberately worked on to express themselves.
Do you enjoy being a teen artist?
I think that it’s good but it’s also not as well-known as it should be. Also in the places that it is known, it’s very competitive. I don’t think there’s a broad enough spectrum of places.
How does being a minority affect your art?
Being a minority can affect my art in a way that inspires me more. But also as a dancer, there are many women who dance. But as a small non-white, Asian ballerina, it can be hard to find your place.
How would you define the perfect picture?
The perfect picture would probably be candid pictures of people in their most fun moment. Or really unique pictures of what goes on in the world.
What message do you want to put across in the world?
It often changes with the day but usually, it’s,”you always have power,” no matter how small you feel. You can always do what you put your mind to.
Do you think that teens have a stage to portray their message?
I think that there is a platform. But it’s not very big. And for dance, it’s more pageant-y and it lost the focus on art. And you come to see who’s wearing the least amount of clothing or who can seduce the judges more. And it’s not about who was creative or more meaningful. For photography and other types of art, it’s hard to be known. No one talks about it much. You’re like,” hey I take photos.” And they’re like cool. But no one is really like, “show me some of them.” Or like, what does this mean?
Do you have a favorite dance that you’ve been in?
Each dance is so different that I don’t have a favorite one that’s been choreographed. I have given performances definitely. And then favorite photos taken are mostly candids of my friends. Unless my friend is a really good model.
Where do you want your art to go?
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Especially one I started high school. I quit my dance team because I just want to focus on the art side of it too. Right now I want it to go… currently I don’t know. I just want to do it for my family or friends. But I don’t want to make money off it.
Why do you think it’s important that teens have art in their lives?
Because if we don’t have a healthy way to handle our emotions or try to explain how we feel, we can get bottled up. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t create a good community or environment.
Follow Stevie @stevie_bono, & stevie_b_photo on Instagram!