Summer Issue 2021

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table of con ten ts

MANYWORDS; CANADA' SRESPONSETO THEMMI WGCRI SI S

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F ALLENS TARS, LI NGERI NGHABI TS

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WHYCRUNCH TI ME?

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TREASUREDMEMORI ES

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THEWORS TTREND

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PHOTO SHOWCASE

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TYLESUGGES TI ONS YOURSUMMERS

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HOW CANIS TAY?

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THEUNSPOKENPOETRYOFSABI NASPI ELREI N

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LI FEASACOFFEECUP

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SEASONALAFFECTI ONS

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THEYOUNGANDUNEMPLOYED

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To say Canada’s past with Indigenous communities would be an understatement, a gross disrespect for the plight of the many that came before it. Canada, in its birth, pillaged and destroyed countless Indigenous communities, the contemporary lack of proper infrastructures and attention in such communities leaving a deep scar. Canada still legally refers to Indigenous land as “Indian reserves”, a constant reminder of our ignorance, as language is an expression of thought. However, the crime of unawareness for which Canadians have the most blood on our hands is the ignorance towards the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) crisis. The MMIWG crisis has been ongoing for decades, beginning in the 1970s and only being addressed openly in 2019, after a two-year national inquiry into the case. In this wide period, up to an estimated 4000 Indigenous women have disappeared, though the true number is impossible to gauge. To put this number into perspective, Indigenous women, although making up only 4 percent of Canada’s female population, were 16 percent of all women murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2012. In 2010 alone, the leading force in fighting this issue, that is, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and not the government, made a report which identified 582 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls from across Canada. Four years later in 2014, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)’s report entitled Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: An Operational Overview identified a total of 1,181 missing and murdered Indigenous women: they identified 1,181 reasons why they should have investigated

this crisis earlier, but, due to ignorance and thriving racism, they didn’t. This same report also found that while homicide rates for non-Indigenous women in Canada were declining, the same could not be said for Indigenous women. A genocide in all but name (a name that the Canadian government has been disturbingly too slow to give), the vulnerability of the female Indigenous population is indisputable.

There is an area wherein the crisis is exemplified best: a 725-kilometre corridor of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, dubbed the Highway of Tears. Its nickname comes from the fact that, as is currently recognized, since 1969, there have been at least eighteen Indigenous women who have disappeared on this road, the youngest being 14-year-old Aileah Saric-Auger, a high school student from Prince George who had gone missing in February 2006. Legally, the term “currently recognized” must be used as the exact number of Indigenous women has not been pinpointed, though it is likely the toll is much higher. The Highway of Tears did not receive its name from locals, though: it received its name from the flagrant disregard of Indigenous


issues by the Canadian government, a disregard which has resulted in the death of Aileah Saric-Auger, Belinda Williams, Helen Betty Osborne, and so many more that, if listed, would result in a read long enough to fill an edition of the Toronto Star.

What then should the Canadian government do? Firstly, it should address the problem: not only its symptoms but also its roots. It should address the history of Canada that is all too eagerly overshadowed by Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach, one that painted the maple leaf red off the blood of Indigenous

peoples. This problem is federal: without federal recognition, there can be no federal accountability in the form of Royal commissions and in-depth investigations. Secondly, it should give platforms for Indigenous communities to voice their concerns. Instead of stifling each Indigenous problem on the floors of the House of Commons, the government should provide more affirmative action

plans, allowing Indigenous communities a priority when speaking on political stages. This will create a more transparent government for all Canadians, one that understands the power of the voice paired with a microphone. Finally, and proving the most difficult, the Canadian government must admit its ignorance: it must promise to do better and keep the public informed on its resolutions. If this does not happen, then Indigenous suicide, obesity, and addiction rates will continue to climb above the national average. As the old Indigenous proverb goes, “It does not require many words to speak the truth.” In the case of the MMIWG crisis, it required none.

// LEAH BEL BEN-TZUR DESIGN // CELINA XIAO


The time reads 8:30 AM. Xing’s eyes flutter open, taking some time to adjust to the light spilling through the small gaps between the blinds. Usually, he wakes up to a warm glass of water and the equally warm smile of the person he loves. Today, that is not the case. He checks his phone and sends her a quick good morning text. It’s time to start the day. Xing groans a little. Part of him misses his university days when his body would naturally wake up at either 2 PM or 4 AM – part of him doesn’t. He spots a note on the dining table. “I have to run a few errands at work today, but I’ll be back before 6!” it says, and he smiles at the cute handwriting. Today is his first day off in a while, so it’s a shame he has to spend it alone.

Xing has a habit. He starts and ends the days with her. So when she isn’t there to say good morning or fall asleep next to him, the small two-bedroom apartment begins to flood with cold air.

Xing has a habit. To distract himself, he heads to his computer to answer some emails. His left hand naturally rests on the WASD keys and his heart beats faster as he inputs the password. However, Xing doesn’t notice it.

Xing has a habit. It’s already past 1 PM. When did it get so late? He thinks to himself, letting his eyes wander about the computer screen. He stops at an all too familiar icon. It’s a game – no, at this point, it’s more than just some game to him. The rush of adrenaline from playing late into the night, anxiously waiting for server maintenance to end, and losing track of time. “I haven’t deleted it yet?” Xing drags the icon into the trash. He was not the same person he was in university — the Xing that ran away from his problems and neglected his education. He’s different now. Suddenly, he hears a slight drizzle of rain falling against the windows. He runs out to the balcony to save the laundry hanging outside.

// SAMANTHA LEE PHOTOGRAPHY // RACHEL LIU DESIGN // ELLIE LIANG

Xing has a habit. After he brings all the clothes inside, he makes the mistake of looking down. Xing gasps for air, as the rain seems to hammer down on him and envelop his entire mind. All he can see is the white railing, her golden hair swaying in the wind like the waves of the ocean below her, and the echoing sounds of what he thought to be a meteor shower against his umbrella. One second she has a melancholic smile plastered on her wet face. The storm shrouds her tears as if it cries for her. And the next second, she was gone. Xing drops everything, running and slipping towards the railing with traces of her footprints being washed away. Whenever he goes out onto the balcony, he remembers that day. The day before high school graduation. The day his sister – his sun – fell from the sky.

Xing has a habit. Whenever he goes out onto the balcony, he remembers that day. The day before high school graduation. The day his sister – his sun – fell from the sky.

Xing has a habi“Xing.” A warm voice calls out to him, wrapping her arms around his rain-soaked body and rhythmically running her thin fingers through his hair.

Xing has a habit. Every time he remembers that day, she snaps him out of it, holding her soft hands out and pulling him back to the present. Every time he falls back into his old habits, she points them out and holds his hand as he slowly improves himself. There are times when he regresses like today, but no one said the healing process would be easy. What he needs is not a star, but someone to hold his hand as they lead each other down the right path.




While cleaning out my grandparents’ apartment, my family discovered dozens of antiques, silverware, an old fur coat, and even a mouldy petrified potato. Among the rubble, my dad stumbled upon boxes of old photo albums. We soon discovered that my grandmother had taken and collected hundreds of photos over the years of her life. My grandparents had grown up in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. When they left in the eighties to immigrate to Canada, my grandmother had chosen to bring along some old family photographs. It was from those few that her collection expanded. Flipping through the yellowed pages, each image she had kept and taken reflected decades of history, going as far back as my great grandparents in Russia during the 1930s. Unlike my grandparents, I grew up in the digital age. I am constantly surrounded by the fast-paced evolution of technology and media. I can capture hundreds of photos with my cell phone camera and apply many filters, effects, and settings. I rarely needed to print or develop a physical copy because my online storage will automatically preserve these shots as digital files. The world of technology and media is available at my fingertips, and yet my mind can’t help but revert to my grandmother and her boxes of carefully crafted albums. With all this new technology available on a whim, I wonder whether we would still retain the same value we once had for photographs. With the ease of taking photos in the digital world, we tend to take advantage of this tool to document everything in their lives. Rather than looking with their eyes, people will peer through their phone screens. While attending my sister’s holiday concert, I noticed that instead of watching, more than half of the audience had their phones between them and the kids’ performance. The overindulgent need to capture memories will diminish the value of the memory. If gold were abundant and easy to unearth, it would be worthless. In this case, by photographing every minute of our lives, we often forget what made those moments special and meaningful to us in the first place. Along with the ability to go overboard, we have also been spoiled by the efficiency of the system. Back then, photos were captured on film and developed carefully in a chemical bath. Besides, a film roll would only have 24 or 36 frames available, which, in comparison to today’s digital storage capacity, is minuscule. However, it was the time, effort, and energy

that went into developing and capturing the film that made those photographs so treasured. With our ability to capture and view pictures in a matter of seconds with the click of a button, taking photos has grown so easy that anyone could do it. The more photos we take, the more space we have to store them; the easier it becomes to forget about them, and we appreciate them less. Without any time or effort being taken to produce an image, I feel that we lack the sense of accomplishment that emerges from the result of hard work and dedication. In this digital era, one would think that this widespread access to technology would encourage more originality and creativity. However, I’ve found people online lean more towards copying popular trends than crafting their own creative innovations. When the Tik Tok Ghost Photoshoot trend blew up this Halloween, I couldn’t go five minutes without seeing multiple clone reincarnations on my feed. While the photoshoot was a cool idea at first, it grew tedious, generic, and stale once everyone began hopping on the bandwagon. Digital culture tends to breed a copycat culture, diminishing the value those innovations once had. When the day comes for us to look back on our life, with our memories frozen in images, what will we see? Looking through my grandmother’s photo albums, I can see her entire life etched into the pages. She managed to create a legacy of her life without documenting every waking moment, taking her time, and remaining completely authentic. While we can’t return to the past, it’s crucial to take heed of the lessons from long ago and learn to cherish what is rare, challenging, and original in our present lives. By using technology to create things of value rather than a thoughtless imitation, we can leave a legacy that is treasured.

.// SARAH GRISHPUL PHOTOGRAPHY // RACHEL LIU DESIGN // CELINA XIAO




PHOTOGRAPHY // ANASTASIA BLOSSER, NADJA MARJANOVIC, KERRY YAN, RACHAEL PENG DESIGN // ELLIE LIANG

ANASTASIA

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ANASTASIA ANASTASIA

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adventurous DO YOU LIKE SHOWING SKIN?

yes!

Summer 2021 marks the rise of skin-baring trends like “midriff flossing”, as well as the return of subversive basics, baggy trousers, bomber jackets, crochet, and high-cut, V-shaped bikini bottoms. Chunky shoes and bold gold accessories paired with either neutral outfits or psychedelic, acid colours are one of the most prominent looks of the season. Look at designers such as Helmut Lang, Jaquemus, and Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection for inspiration.

nope!

Yet another pattern, this time with a little less predictability. Sailor stripes have been reinvented by designers with bold, colourful new twists. In menswear, stripes take a more nautical approach with the classic blue and white colourway as seen in the work of Casablanca, but designers like Duro Olowu and Missoni play with the width and coloration of stripes to introduce a fresh take on the pattern for this spring/summer season.

Plaid patterns, warped grid patterns, and other iterations of the classic checkerboard motif are all the rage as of spring and summer 2021. In some instances, designers have created garments out of square pieces of fabric sewn together to expose the seams. Whether it’s hats, shirts, jeans, or sometimes tote bags, variations of checkerboard have been cruising through the fashion scene smoothly since fall/winter 2021, and it looks like this classic pattern isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Designers to watch include Dolce and Gabbana and Miu Miu.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FASHION TASTES?

start // MICHELLE LIU DESIGN // STELLA WANG

reserved MINIMALISM?

not for me absolutely

A springtime classic, sorbet colours are given new life by designers in new, interesting cuts and colour pairings. Pastel accessories complement colourblocked outfits, sometimes with bold cutouts as designers explore new silhouettes with a colour palette that comes back every year. Designers like Moschino and Kenzo exhibit the “solids” trend of spring 2021, but Lazy Oaf ’s not-too-loud patterns are also easy to style with a few basics to bring a twist to the sea of mismatched blocks of pastel.

CHEERFUL OR MOODY?

cheerful

moody

A sharp juxtaposition to the fun colours that typically rule the warmer months, black, white, and other nude tones have stepped up to the plate this season. The versatility of neutral colours allows for more exploration with cut, fit, and silhouette, as demonstrated by designers Alexander McQueen and Prada. While I am personally not a fan of Virginie Viard’s vision of Chanel following her promotion to head designer for the brand, her resort collection for 2022 offers alternative inspiration for people looking for a variation on the monochrome trend and draws inspiration from her own somewhat punk-inspired style.


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HOTOGRAPHY // RACHAEL PENG

Dear Future Shreyas, I’d like to tell you a little story. Once upon a time, There was a little grade 9 boy, And his name was Shreyas. (Now you may be thinking, Hey, that’s my name! And you’d be right.) Shreyas was working on a project to which he thought no one could object, A project for grade 9 business class (ugh). The project was to make a website on Wix -You remember Wix, they taught us all those tricks to fix our pics and get more clicks-A website on Wix about a topic, or an issue, that they cared about. And Shreyas, in a moment of brilliant self-awareness, Decided, “I am such a good straight ally, I’m going to choose LGBT rights!” A straight ally. Right. A few days later, along came his magna mater, And she stumbled upon a scene with many rainbows on Shreyas’ screen, And asked “Hey, what are you doing?” Would it be better to hide these feelings inside or speak his voice? In that moment he made a choice. And he told her. Then came those fateful words, on that fateful day, when he heard what his mother really wanted to say. “I wish you had chosen a different topic.” A few months later, Shreyas realized something big, And I realized that it would have to stay hush, that I couldn’t blush and give it away, That I was gay. At least a little bit. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and eventually the time came along, I thought that people deserved to know, although at first I kept it on the down-low. I told one friend, two friends, three friends, more, But never the parents, because I knew what was in store If they ever found out, so I started planning my route Of escape. A message, a note, “Mom, Dad, hi. I’m bi.” Never to their face. Because when you live in a place Where your own flesh and blood can’t accept who you are, what’s left? So I guess what I’m trying to ask is, Did anything change? Has anything rearranged? Did you ever come out? Out of your cage, out of your shell,

Out of the closet?

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Or were you crushed? Crushed by the weight of expectations from parents, Parents who raised you to know that it was better to die than to be gay or bi, Parents who would spit out the words like poison, That marrying a man was never part of the plan, Saying it over and over and over and over, Until you ran, because you couldn’t take it anymore. So do I run away? Or do I stay, Trying to find a way to play the part of the son my parents wish they had? The son who’s normal, the one who’s successful, The one whose name became his claim to fame instead of the bane of their reputation?

DESIGN // STELLA WANG

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How can I stay? How can I stay in a place where even though I may be proud, My sexuality will always be outlawed instead of out loud? How can I stay in a house that’s not a home, but instead home-ophobic? I’m here, I’m queer, and I am full of fear, For my future, which, though near, Is as uncertain as ever, because no matter how clever I may be, In the eyes of our parents, a gay son is gay first, And son second. How can I stay? Please, how can I stay?

Yours truly, With love and trepidation, Admiration and indignation,

Shreyas.

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a n i r Sab n i e r l Spie T ADMI

Is it not funny, not absolutely, gut-wrenchingly tragic, the idea that such great people can die in such obscurity? People that deserved so much better yet are buried in sublime indifference? One of these great people that never got the recognition she deserved was Sabina Spielrein, a pioneer in the field of psychoanalysis. Overshadowed by the father of modern psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud—the Zeus—with his rival Carl Jung—her Hephaestus—and fought against most of her life, Spielrein has become forgotten in time. But let yourself bear the responsibility of remembering her for just a few moments. Let yourself be the torch-bearer that remembers Sabina Spielrein, the Athena of the most glorious forgotten Greek tragedy. Act I is rich with themes that would follow Spielrein for most of her life. She was born on October 25th, 1885, in Rostov-on-Don, a city in what was then the Russian Empire and about two thousand kilometres from her rightful home atop Mount Olympus. She was born into a wealthy Jewish family, with a father who developed crops and a mother who had previously worked in dentistry. She was the eldest of five, with each of her three brothers paving the way for their own fields of science. But, this is not a story about mortals. From a young age, Spielrein believed that she was destined for a higher purpose and that someone was watching over her and communicating. Perhaps it was a form of schizophrenia,

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perhaps it was the gods. Regardless, she was a Jew dreaming of something greater, and how transcendent a message that is. Act II explores the beginning of the perils of Spielrein’s tragedy, the first stutter of the beautiful verses of her poetic life. At the age of 18, her only sister, Emilia, suddenly died of typhoid, leaving her only protections, her shield and her spear, broken and discarded. Her mental state deteriorated rapidly at this time: she suffered a breakdown and was reduced to uncontrollable laughing and crying and depressive episodes. It was in a sanitorium in Zurich where Athena met her Hephaestus. For Athena, Hephaestus was a blacksmith she asked for weapons: for Spielrein, Jung was the assistant of the hospital’s director, Eugen Bleuler. Nearing her final months in the hospital, Spielrein became an intern who worked alongside other Russian students. Yes, during this time Spielrein and Jung had developed a romance, but it will be nothing more than a footnote, as this play is not about Jung, as it so often has been in the past. And yes, one could elaborate further, but does it not sound ludicrous, to sum up Athena’s life by her relationship to Hephaestus? Act III follows the more professional period of Spielrein’s life, the period in which Athena built her reputation as the greatest champion. After her graduation from medical school and trips to Munich and subsequently Vienna, she delivered a paper to the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (of which she was the second-ever female member) entitled Destruction as the Cause of Coming into Being: a paper which initiated Freud’s thinking on his famous death drive. The two met on a number of


occasions in 1912 solidifying the idea that Zeus truly gave Athena the mental competition she deserved. But then, because the gods of Mount Olympus were torturous beings who only wanted to bring pain to women as great as Spielrein, World War I began. She lived in Lausanne, a large city in Switzerland, where she and her daughter remained for the rest of the war: she did not see her husband, who joined the army, for more than a decade. Never one to halt under pressure, Spielrein found work as a surgeon to make ends meet. She also published two more, albeit shorter, papers during the war: one cannot blame Athena for claiming her muscles are sore, after all. Act IV explores her years in Russia, surrounded by snow and millions of minds as cunning as her’s. When Spielrein arrived in Moscow, in 1923 following a failed attempt at starting her own private practice in Geneva, she discovered she was not only one of the most knowledgeable psychoanalysts there, but also the one with the most connections to Western psychoanalysts. In Moscow, she continued studying children and became involved with an ambitious project in children’s studies known as the “Detski Dom” Psychoanalytic Orphanage-Laboratory. The “Detski Dom” was made to teach children based on Freudian theories. When Spielrein left Moscow several years later, she reconnected with her husband in Rostov-on-Don. He had cheated on her with another woman, Olga Snetkova, a head-strong Artemis, and had a daughter with her. However, they reunited and had two more daughters. The decade afterwards was spent by Spielrein working as a pediatrician, continuing with her research, creating lectures about her discoveries in the field of psychoanalysis, and publishing books for Western audiences. Then, in 1936 her husband died. Her three brothers died the subsequent two years following their arrest during the Great Purge, a time of great political repression in Russia. But Spielrein, determined to survive and protect her children, made a promise with Snetkova that, if either of them died, the other would take care of the daughters. But then World War II broke out and suddenly people like Spielrein did not survive for much longer. Suddenly Athena could not fight for much longer, either.

There is no Act V for Sabina Spielrein’s tragedy. There was no normalcy that she achieved after her struggles: she was a Jew so she did not live to see the end of the Holocaust, she did not live to see what became of her country, and she did not live to go back to Mount Olympus and stand with her brothers and sisters. That is, until right now. This is Act V. Reading her story. Hold her memory as you walk by the growing Jewish community down the street celebrating the new year. Hold her memory as you watch the two mothers speak so proudly of their children on the train. Hold her memory and only let it go once we’ve given her a proper burial. Make it so that Sabina Spielrein can be recognized as the Athena she was and stand atop Mount Olympus with the other gods, her poetry finally spoken.

// LEAH BEL BEN-TZUR GRAPHICS // FREEPIK DESIGN // STELLA WANG



A: Annika Pavlin (interviewer) P: Polina Spakovsky

A: Outside of art, who are you? What do you do? Where do you come from? P: I’m 17. I’m a senior in high school. I went to RHHS for two years but in Grade 11 I moved to California, specifically the Silicon Valley, a place full of opportunities with a focus on STEM. I moved from an area where I would have had the opportunity to go to OCAD to an area where I can attend CalArts. Two great art schools and I don’t want to go to either of them.

A: Tell me about your history with art. Where art has taken you so far, and how do you go about doing your own art? P: I’ll start out with some of my inspirations: I really love impressionism and I really love art nouveau. I guess impressionism has made its way the most into my own style - I do painting, drawing, and a bit of collage here and there. When I started out making art I spent a lot of time developing a more realistic style, and working a lot on the basics and getting the technique down. Recently though, I’ve been venturing more into avant-garde art, more stylized art. I’m still figuring things out but I’m trying to stray away from realism. If you wanted to look at a realistic rendition of something, then you’d look at a photo. That might upset some readers, but I feel like art was freed from the shackles of realism when the camera was invented. Why people like realism is the amount of skill it takes. That skill shows through when you see a hyper-realistic portrait and you think “wow, that person has a lot of skill and it took a lot of time to cultivate that skill.” Realism can be very beautiful, however, what a lot of people would say is that realism can lack creativity, and with enough practice, with enough sitting at your desk, anybody can bring themselves to draw realistically. What not everybody can do is come up with a great idea, or a style that is exclusive to themselves. It’s the only thing that separates artists from each other. At the end of the day, art is a form of selfexpression and that is what I am trying to channel through my work.

A: So, tell me about what you're actually going to pursue if it's not art, what are you going to do? P: I’m planning to go to business school, and after business school, I’d like to end up somewhere in the realm of management, perhaps in marketing or business analytics. How I arrived at this career choice hasn’t exactly been a smooth road - I spent a lot of time wrestling with the idea that the field of things I was interested in didn’t exactly intersect with the field of things that would financially support me in the future. I tried to force myself to enjoy computer science at one point - that didn’t go so well. It was only when I joined clubs at school and took leadership positions within those clubs that I realized how much I liked making decisions, thinking about how to make these clubs successful, how to reach more people, what to sell and how to make the most money at fundraisers. It was all very much like a little business and that kickstarted the idea that this might be something I’d really enjoy. It lit a little fire in my chest… knowing I didn’t have to be miserable as a programmer. If I were to go into computer science, I would have to justify myself by saying “oh well, I don’t really love it, but this is what’s going to get me the money.” But business, it is something that I do genuinely see myself doing and being good at, and wanting to go into work every day.

A: Have your parents or their upbringing/choices affected your decision? P: I’m quite lucky because, contrary to most immigrant households, my parents aren't as strict with me and what I want to do: at the end of the day they just want me to be happy. But, growing up with them, and I guess this isn’t so much about them being immigrants but the fact that I was raised in a family of computer scientists, my mother is a programmer, my father is a programmer, my brother is a programmer, and most of my extended family is also in STEM. It’s a lot of pressure to go into that same field, and although my parents have never directly shut me down, they have raised me with the mentality to pick a career where--- just to be smart with things, that’s what I’ve always been taught. It’s always *in a Russian accent* “Natasha’s son decided to play saxophone, he’s poor now.” I have been told many cautionary tales and they all end badly: so I was raised with the idea that if you want to be a creative, you can do that, but only on the side. It’s like, what’s that quote? “Support your hobbies until your hobbies can support you,” something like that.

A: So why did you end up choosing business as your pathway instead of art? And does business fulfill you the way that art does? P: Why I didn’t pick art is because, like many artists, I often experience art block, I often experience burnout, and I want to keep art as a hobby and not a job, or something that I have to do if I am in a state of burnout or art block. It is something that is safe for me and it is something that I will only do when I am motivated or when I am inspired, when I have an idea, when I have the drive--I want to sit down and I want to do art as an escape, to have this thing just for me. They say “pick a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” but really if you pick a job you love, you have just turned something that brought you joy into work and you lose that escape.

I’d say business does fulfill me the way that art does, it’s just that you can’t necessarily have “business” as a hobby, even if you’re running one. At its core business can never truly be a hobby - It’s a business, it’s in the name. It’s something you do with the idea of success, of making money. I don’t know how many people run a business just for the fun of it. Though I am guilty of commercializing my art sometimes, that’s not why I do it. I don’t make art to get likes on Instagram, I don’t do art to make money. Before anything else, it is a form of self-expression, something I enjoy, and a part of my life that I don’t need to monetize. I like having that option and I want to preserve that. I don’t want to have art be this thing that I go home from, I want it to be something I go home to.

A: In Karl Marx’s theory of alienation, he says that capitalistic alienation can be created when the worker feels separated from their product, and art and business are different in many ways, not only in the actual work but also in the product: in business you’re not really creating anything, in art you create everything, and by your own design. What do you think about the concept of the sense of fulfillment workers feel when their product is meaningful and personal? Do you think a businessperson could achieve this in the same way an artist can? P: I think that’s a very interesting question, I've never thought about it like that before. I can imagine this guy being given a coffee cup, and they tell him, “advertise this coffee cup” and he doesn’t care about the coffee cup. He doesn’t care about coffee. But, suddenly it becomes his whole life, and we look at him and think how sad it is that his whole life is a coffee cup. I do get scared of that sometimes, and I’m not in the workforce and I don’t know if future me is miserable over a coffee cup. In that situation, I suppose I’d just remove myself from the product, and instead attach myself to its success. Art and business aren’t all that different - creativity is a huge part of both. It’s the people who have the capacity to make great pieces of art who also have the capacity to make those great ideas that are going to push a business forward. There’s a lot more to a business than the product itself, there’s so much that goes into the process and I think that’s really cool. It’s not always about the coffee cup.

A: How much of your reluctance to go into art, despite your skill and likely success, is born out of fear? P: I can’t deny that there's a lot of fear. To fail at something you’ve been told your whole life is something you’re the best at would be crushing. It’s much easier to say that you value a higher-paying job or want to keep art as your sanctuary than to admit that. I can rationalize not going into art all I want but there’s also a little part of me thinking “what if you’d be happier as an artist? What happens when your life becomes a coffee cup?” It’s that push and pull that leads me to take the safe choice in the end. What keeps me sane is the fact that I’ll always have my art to fall back on if life does become a coffee cup. It’s okay to make a wrong choice and switch jobs. Art is one of those things you don’t necessarily need to go to school for to build a career, so if all else fails, I still have that option.

A: What would you like to say to kids that are considering going into art school? P: To kids that are going into art school, any type of art school whether it be music, or fashion design, or whatever, I would like to say that I am very proud of you. I am very proud of you if you’ve managed to overcome parental pressure to do what you love. If you have people doubting you that means you’re doing something bold, and if you push through that and decide that you’re going to art school, then you have chosen to pursue your passion to the fullest degree, pun intended. If you feel confident doing that then you will do something great. If you’re reading this and you are debating between art school and something in STEM, I can’t tell you what the better choice is, ultimately that’s something you have to arrive at on your own. What I can tell you is that if you decide on a career solely because the money’s good or because it’s what your parents want, I can’t guarantee you won’t regret that. No amount of retirement savings, no amount of “relief ” from your parents that you “found your way” will make up for when you come home from a job you hate, look at yourself in the mirror and think, “whose life have I been living?” Ultimately, you should prioritize your own happiness. You’re the only one who’s living in that body of yours, so you might as well do what you love. Honestly, there is nothing that is going to make wishing that you became an artist better than becoming an artist. // ANNIKA PAVLIN ART // POLINA SPAKOVSKY DESIGN // ELLIE LIANG




COVERPHOTOGRAPHY/ /ANAS TASI ABLOSSER


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