Teen Interview #21

Ariyah Bunch, 17.

What are your main inspirations?
My mental illnesses are my main inspiration.

How is that translated in your work?
Things that I can’t express because I’m really bad at expressing emotions. I just try to paint it away. And it usually doesn’t come out the way I intend. It usually is really random and I just do it to do it.

Why did you sign up for our art show?
I never put myself out there. And I just moved here from L.A. So I was just curious to see what it would be like. And I honestly didn’t think I would get in. So when I got that email back I was like, ’wow, ok.’ I can do something.

img_0025Tell us about one of your works.

Discomfort. The ’Dis’ is in parentheses. It was inspired by my favorite movie, ”Carol.” It represents so many different things. Not only is it a fan-art thing. It’s also just-the colors. I picked greens, reds; yellows. Because her emotion was so confusing. I wanted to show that not everything is going to be easy. The reason it’s called discomfort, is because it was such a bittersweet moment in the film. The movement and the eyes, and the lines- crossed off like a barrier.

What was your inspiration with Lovers?img_2175

Like almost all my art I just start and it just goes from there. I don’t have a thing in mind ever, and I just start it. So that outcome was surprising because i didn’t expect it. Whatever, it made a lot of sense to do it that way. In the space I was in at the time. Romance is a really scary thing for everyone.

What is the benefit of sharing your art?
Their reactions obviously; their emotions toward it. I love seeing how other people feel about art. I feel so many things when I see a piece. I see my piece and it’s totally different from what someone else’s could be.

Where do you want your art to go?

I want to be a filmmaker. I really want to incorporate all of my paintings and stuff in film. My biggest thing is to spread more awareness about mental illness. My bipolar disorder takes over a lot of me, so I would like to show that people with intense problems can do it.img_0023

Tell me about a film you are making.

It’s a romance. A lesbian romance. There’s a lot of twists and turns in it. The main thing I want you to get out of it is self-love. The movie is about self-love and how that flips. The other huge thing is that I want to show a real lesbian romance. The ups and downs and intensities. Not the usual bland [stuff]. That along with self-love and realization. Especially because all lesbian movies end so terribly. It’s not all bad.

My biggest thing is to spread more awareness about mental illness.

Do you have an ending statement?
My main thing is mental illness. My panic disorder and my bipolar disorder completely take over my life most of the time. And my social phobias. Which is why things like this are so hard to do. So when I share my poetry or share my art it’s a weird experience. I want people with bipolar disorders to show themselves. It’s hard because of the fear of being judged. Especially with teens we are scared of people judging us. I want to put myself out there more. You aren’t what your brain tells you, you are. You are an artist and you are something beautiful. And I want people to know that.

Females and Films

Females and Film

Mushu talked more than Mulan.

From this, I still can’t move on.

The heroines of Disney, close to our hearts,

Overshadowed by male counterparts.


The backstage is worse than the screen!

Hard hats,

Strong minds,

Hardly seen!

My incredible, talented sisters

Pushed down by prejudiced misters.


Posts, campaigns, speeches, and essays

At the hands of our beloved celebrities

Do wonders to raise the public awareness

But how come there’s still the unfairness?


Teach the girls;

Because education builds futures.

Hire the women;

We’re more than simple consumers.


Let our stories be shared with the globe.

Finally, let’s start on this road.



The process of change involves three steps according to the Kurt Lewin Model: “Unfreezing, Transition, and Refreezing”. Raising awareness of the problem falls under “Unfreezing”, meaning that Hollywood must progress to the “Transition” phase, which “occurs as we make the changes that are needed. People are ‘unfrozen’ and moving towards a new way of being” (Connelly). The perceived toxicity of Hollywood feminism can be attributed to lack of action, a reality of most celebrities’ proclaimed feminism. By finally advancing to phase two of the model, the public may witness true change.

In order to at last even the Hollywood scales on- and off-screen, celebrities and the public, females and males, must unite to advance Hollywood to the physical transition phase of change by increasing the amount of female creators, female storytelling and female youth artistic education.

Teen Interview #9

Syierra Shandle, 16

 Why did you get into art?

It was one of those accidental things, I definitely had a thing for art. Like in elementary school I was drawing. And then in middle school, I got in that photography stage. It was the eighth grade was where I was like, yeah I’m really set on photography. But it wasn’t til ninth grade when I got accidentally placed in a film class and it was something I couldn’t switch out of, and I was like,” That’s so dumb! Why am I here?”, when I was supposed to be doing photography but ended up taking the course and I loved it! But then I saw there were more aspects of being a director, or photographer. I found this book at the back of my classroom. It was Screenplay writing for Dummies. I kind of read it, highlighted text, everything. And then I fell in love with the art of creating a movie I guess.

When would you say your creative process started?

I’ve always been a creative person. Maybe throughout my elementary years. It’s just something that I’ve been told that I was, and I liked hearing it. Definitely those early in ages.

What are your plans for your next moves?

So I’m moving to Germany in September, something I like to talk about. And I’m interested in going to their MET FILM SCHOOL out in Berlin. Hopefully, I’m able to progress my skills there but people tell me a lot that Screenplay writing specifically is just something you need to take the time to do, and you don’t need school for that. But you know.

Would you consider yourself primarily a photographer or writer?

Good question. I like being called an independent filmmaker, or a screenplay writer. It depends on who I’m talking to because I’ll just switch back between the two of them.

Do you make this work specifically for yourself, or do you want to share it with others?

A little bit of both. There’s something about that satisfaction that you get when you do something and you are proud of it. I’ve had those times just like anybody else where I’m just like unsatisfied with my work. And it’s more so for people rather than yourself, and then there are other times where I’m really proud of myself and I see future in it.

Do you feel like more teens should have the opportunity to share their artwork?

Of course. Totally. We are the next generation so when you have a bunch of people that are willing to do something artistically, why not have that? Because that’s something I don’t see a lot in the earlier generations.

How would you define art?

Art is the person that is doing it. It is a word that you can take within yourself. I’m art. We all are. It’s just a magical word.

Whats the most important thing to consider when creating something?

Definitely staying true to who you are. I’ve learned throughout my years of schooling that people are so quick to guide you in a direction that they think is perfect. But no one knows perfect but yourself. Your definition of perfect is true to you and that’s genuine and I think that’s really important when being an artist.

Walk us through the meaning of one of your favorite works.

I’ve written a film called LOVER. And it’s about someone who is taking this idea of love and discarding it because they’re impatient. And then it’s just going through all the lovely aspects of love, and just totally like. . .I don’t know its one of those things because I’m always in my feelings.

Where do you look when you feel unmotivated?

That’s the funny part when I feel unmotivated I don’t feel like I have anything that I listen to so. I don’t have a favorite director or a genre of the sort. Things that inspire me are people’s sentences and words. And I’m like hey, I can make a film out of that. Sometimes I get the title before I get the story and that’s always helpful. I don’t know it’s just something that always comes to me when I least expect it.

What most excites you about your future?

I’ll be in a totally different community and that’s always exciting. I was told that traveling is an important part of living, and I guess that part, where I get to share my work with other people from different countries, is outstanding. So yeah, I’m just excited for the future and what it has for me.

Do you feel that there needs to be a push towards programs that highlight Teens?

I think stuff like this. When its made by people our own age its comforting and inviting and it’s like hey these people are trying to help is and I think if we had more of these things. Especially if it was student ran its be more easy for people to be not so closed in or introverted when sharing their art.


Read Syierra’s work here: LOVER

Want an interview? Go here to apply!

Make sure to save the date for our April art show at Tacoma Art Museum April 19th 6-8pm, submissions and more info coming soon!

Loving Vincent Review

Now, when I first bought my ticket, I wasn’t entirely too enthusiastic. I mean, I wasn’t jumping up and down. As the opening credits rolled, I was checking Instagram and Twitter. I was tempted to text my mom back.

This all changed within the first 10 minutes of the film.

It starts off a year after Vincent died.  Now, keep in mind that the flashbacks are through the son of a postman, who is asked to deliver a letter to Vincent’s brother. Armand is his name and his initial laid-back attitude is how the movie initially feels. A bit luke-warm, and care-free.

But as the movie progressed, Armand quickly shifts from location to location, attempting to rightfully deliver the letter to somebody. At times, I would be more interested in the oil frames, than the movie, just because of how well done they were. I found myself staring at a man’s beard for longer than I would like to recall, just because of the color in it.

Anyways, Armand settles in a village, ways away from his own town, and starts to learn more about the truth of Vincent’s death. We all know the sad tale of how Vincent passed, but the movie takes a twist on the famous artist’s wound. How did he die? It explores a cover-up of a shooting while incorporating characterization throughout the process. I was rooting for characters and picking my favorites as the movie progressed. I also enjoyed Armand’s caring attitude about Vincent. He was sticking up for Van Gogh, and himself as the movie came to a close. At times I even forgot I was watching different paintings interact. The emotions and plot were the same. The only difference was the clear effort in making the movie.

angry tyra banks GIF

By the end of the movie, the message stayed the same. It was clear that Vincent should be celebrated, not for his mental illness, but for his art. He shouldn’t be analyzed for his passing but celebrated for his work in his present life. Whether his death was unintentional, or self-inflicted, he would still be the same Van Gogh we know today. And as the credits rolled, I admit, I was debating on whether I  should cry or laugh.

martha and snoops potluck dinner party sunglasses GIF by VH1Overall, I would definitely watch this film again. The imagery, the characterization, and the writing were astonishing. For anyone who’s on edge about watching,  do yourself a favor, and watch. You won’t regret it.