Writer: Stevie Sanborn

Stevie Sanborn …  our first impression was that she was the embodiment of nice and kindness. As we began to talk more, though, we realized there was much more to Sanborn; underneath, we found a girl who was adventurous, and a person unafraid to say what they think. We found someone with such a creative mind that was just flowing with unbelievable ideas and unique stories. We had found a writer.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It is a mix, actually. The passion I have for writing absolutely energizes me, but being creative for long periods of time takes a mental toll, and it can definitely get draining. For the most part, though, writing gives me life to every day. I always interweave some aspect of creative writing in my daily life.

Has there been a book that has really inspired you or pushed you towards writing? If so, what is it and why?

Growing up I hated reading. I have terrible reading comprehension, ironically. I found the first book I ever loved in junior high, which was “Thirteen Reasons Why.” That book sparked a love for complicated storylines that connect, and later when I fell in love with my favorite book, “Lolita,” I found my love for crafting sentences. Both books pushed me to focus on specific aspects of writing.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Finding the time to be creative, and summoning creativity at that designated time. I have been writing a novel since January 2014. If I had the time, it would be done, but alas, I have an abundance of responsibilities and a shortage of time. The free time I do have, I'm tired and usually do not have the mental energy to enter a fictional world and create the events to a life that doesn't exist. One day, I will live with my best friend Jillian in the mountains and I'll have all the time in the world to write my mind.

If you could write about anybody in your life, who would it be and why?

I only write about people in my life. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes subconsciously. I usually end up writing different versions of myself in my characters, and only realizing it afterwards.

How do you feel when you write?

How you feel after you take a few deep breaths, is how I feel when I write. I have severe asthma, but my chest doesn't feel so tight when I'm writing.

How has writing over time changed you as both a person and a writer?

Especially this past year since attending the Emerson Pre-College program, I've looked at the world like I look at a poem. Every word I say, every decision I make-- it all makes up what my life is and who I am, my poem. It all has to mean something, just like every word in a poem means something. I've become more deliberate with my actions. I think my life through before I live it. If what I am doing doesn't reflect who I believe that I am, I revise myself. I live, I write my experiences, I reflect and revise. The line between my soul and words is blurred.

Musician: Daniel Paik

Daniel Paik sits center stage at a beautiful black piano, eyes closed, entranced with the music that flows through his fingers. The melody ends and the crowd cheers, and as he begins to make his way to the dressing room, he ponders his past successes and his future at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He throws on faded slacks, an oversized shirt, ripped vans and a pink beanie, and heads for an empty parking lot, board clutched under his arm. He jumps on his board, jazz blaring through his headphones, and lands a No Comply. Two passions intermingle into one through the music in his ears and the board underneath his feet. 

What do you play?

I play jazz music, swing music, community music, music that makes people feel good.

What instruments do you play?

I play jazz piano and jazz vibraphone.

How did you start music?

Around kindergarten my mom made me play classical piano. I like classical piano but I didn't really like taking lessons.

Why didn't you like lessons?

I like learning by myself but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did because I was able to develop a better technique which allowed me to improvise better when I started playing jazz.

What's your favorite thing to play?

I like ballads because it gives you a lot of time to think about what your playing and really take it in.

How would you describe your sound?

Very unpredictable. It's very exhilarating and exhausting knowing you have control over someone's emotions with what your playing. I'm still developing my sound but I'd describe it as a lot of tension and release.

What do you see with music in your future?

I picture myself at a jazz club with a bass player and a drummer and maybe a horn player in my combo.

What's your biggest dream with music?

When I die and people hear my music, I want them to know it's me without anyone telling them.

If you could choose any venue in the world to sell out, what would it be?

Blue Note.

Do you write your own music?

Yeah, I wrote a ballad for my friend Kyra once.

Who are your main influences?

Bill Evans, Bobby Hutcherson, Keith Jarret and Dwayne Burno.

Outside of other artists, what inspires you to create music?

I play music for sentimental reasons. Whenever I play or listen to jazz I become nostalgic about a time I wasn't even born in.

Is there a specific song you play that means a lot to you?

I like the song, "I Love You", by Cole Porter. It has a lot of interesting intervals. I really like the chords in that song.

What advice would you give to beginners?

Don't lie to yourself. You know when you're not practicing. Just know that when you're not practicing there's a cat that is. Somewhere on the planet, there's a cat your age that's practicing and getting better than you.

What does music mean to you?

Honestly, if jazz didn't exist I wouldn't be here right now without a doubt. There will never be another truth. Jazz is the only music that deserves to be called music. It is the purest form of music. So little is known about it. This beautiful [thing] called jazz is forever lost in time but I will carry on its beautiful legacy. Jazz truly means the world to me.

Artist: Moses Chang

Moses Chang may seem calm and quiet on the outside, but in reality, he is a spectacular artist with an eye for detail. He works furiously as he takes out his

vibrant colored pencils and enhances the details of his piece by adding shadows and highlights. His preference for colorful, textured paper adds a unique

style to his beautifully blended drawings of animals.

What’s your favorite medium to work with and why?

My favorite medium is color pencil because it's the medium I tend to get my most developed pieces from. In other words I can fine tune my drawings and add the details I want with precision. I guess I can do that with graphite too, but I like colors. Also, I don't know how to use other mediums.

What inspires you to draw?

I don't really get inspired for art very often. I mean, every once in awhile I see something cool on Instagram or Facebook, and I think "oh shoot I wanna do that too." But other than that, I just scroll through Google images until I find something I'm interested in.

How long have you been drawing?

I’ve been drawing off and on for about ten years.

Did you take art classes or was art just a hobby?

It started as a hobby, and then I took like six art classes over a span of three years because I hate art class. They always touched my work, and I hated it.

What subject matters do you like to draw the most and why?

Animals because they’re adorable and look nice.

How has art influenced who you are today?

After taking art, I feel like I've become more aware of and appreciative of my surroundings, especially nature. It’s always spontaneous too. Sometimes I can gaze at the shapes and slow movements of clouds for pretty long periods of time; sometimes I get lost in my thoughts, and other times I get irritated that they aren't puffy enough. Sure, a lot of people appreciate the colors of trees in fall, and the colorful sunsets every once in awhile, but I now find myself actively looking for these "random" scenes more often. I guess in this way you can say art has unlocked my daydreaming potential.

What is your favorite piece you’ve made?

I haven’t finished my favorite, but it would have to be the snake. I want to finish it, but it’s taking so long because of all the colors.

Writer: Leila Bathke

By Emily Andrews and Mina Jang

Leila Bathke -- who is she? There are many sides to Bathke. To some, she’s the girl with the fiery red hair and undying appreciation for Walt Whitman. To others, she’s a kind, caring friend who is always loyal. However, above all this, Bathke is someone full of fresh new ideas and stories to tell the world. Leila Bathke is a passionate writer and poet.

Why do you write?

I write because sometimes there’s just too many thoughts in my head, and putting it down on paper makes it easier to make decisions or just reflect on it and get through it.

What inspired you to start writing?

So, I read this book that talked a lot about Walt Whitman, and one of his poems is called “Song of Myself,” and it inspired me to read Walt Whitman’s poetry. I bought his book. It was a totally tattered copy, probably like fifty years old, and it really inspired me to write. It’s a super long poem, and it’s really good. There’s this one part about God, and he’s questioning God, and he doesn’t really get to an answer, but just putting it down on paper … just the question at the end.


Why do you think literature and writing are important even in today’s society?

Well, we read in history. We read a lot of literature, and it’s good to write literature to leave that for posterity, especially since our world is changing so much, and youth have become so much more empowered now. So, I think youth should really write as much as they can because our world is going crazy, and it’s good to have that in the future.

What’s your favorite book, and why?

This book called “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury because I read it one time, and this is like three years ago, and I totally didn’t understand it. Well, I mean it was good, but I didn’t really look into it that much, but a couple years ago, I read it again, and I started annotating it and looking for all these symbols, and … I just really loved it. I loved reading into all the metaphors, and it made me want to write more.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

I think the hardest part about writing is when you write something that is so truthful to yourself that it might sound like really dumb if you say it out loud. You constantly worry about every word that you write, like, “Oh my gosh, people are going to think I’m crazy or dumb or too extreme.” So like questioning every word.

If you could write about anyone fictional or nonfictional, who would you write about?

Maybe my brother, just because I’ve known him his whole life, and I know all of his experiences and stuff, but he’s a very quiet and mysterious person, so it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking all the time. So, it would just be really interesting to sort of try and study his mind.


How do you think your creativity affects your thinking on a daily basis?

I used to have this sign in my room (I just wrote it down myself) that said, “Search for symbols in your life and create symbols in your life, so that you can make that in your writing.” I tried to remind myself to be creative and be a poet in everything that I do, whether that’s going on a hike or climbing trees. But I think going through life poetically and having a creative mind like that [opens] a different side to things.


Fashion Icon: Jacqueline Hofmann

Jacqueline Hoffmann has a classy, timeless style about her. The signature Jacqueline blend of minimal clothing with her touch of creativity makes her stand out in a crowd. As well as being involved in FIDM, a club on campus that focuses on fashion design, Hoffmann also runs her own blog: “Leap Into Fashion,” It’s an artistic outlet for Jacqueiline, aswhere you can get an insight of her prevailing taste. You can visit “Leap Into Fashion” for DIYs, fashion tips, lookbooks, and to shop.

Describe your style in 3 words

Inspired, because it’s inspired by my mom and a bunch of different styles. Unique, because I like combining different styles. Cheap, because I don’t spend a lot of money on my clothes piece by piece.

Why did you create your blog and what does the name represent?

A little bit would have to do with me wanting to do something unique for college apps and something that appealed to my passion. My parents were like, ‘You should just do it,’ and my friends said I have a nice sense of style. I was like why not express it on an online platform where I can do what I want. It’s called “Leap Into Fashion.” My biggest trouble was finding a name for it; I think it’s about leaping into something and not really thinking about it. Just doing what you like and what appeals to you: That’s what I strive to do on my blog.


What inspires your daily wear and love for fashion?

I really like a lot of fashion bloggers like Aimee Song from Song of Style. She got me going into the fashion blogging scene. She had a really cool style I hadn’t seen in magazines before, and she was an ordinary-looking girl, so that also appealed to me. Also my mom because she was a costume designer, so she had influence over my love for fashion. I also like looking through catalogs of “Made Well” or “Free People.”

When styling an outfit, what is the most important part of the ensemble?

That’s hard. I would say jackets are the most important thing; each one is different. I have so many green jackets, because I went through this phase where everything had to be a green jacket, but I also love blazers and bomber jackets and leather jackets and jean jackets. So I think jackets would probably be the most important thing because they cover up everything and they look good with everything.

Do you see fashion as an art form?

Yes, fashion is definitely a form of art. Fashion is a way of displaying your creativity, which is ultimately what art is meant to do.

How do music and fashion correspond?

Music is like fashion in the way that it changes with different stages of your life. When I was younger, I was more into pop music, and I would wear very basic kinds of things. Now, I'm more into indie music and I like rock a lot. It really translates into my style, which I would say is classy sometimes and sometimes is not so classy.

As a fashion icon at West Ranch, what is advice you would give to fellow students that are looking to get into the fashion world?

I would say don't feel limited by what you perceive to be on trend and stylish; just go with what you think is aesthetically pleasing, what looks good on you, and what you feel good in. You can have like the most “on-trend outfit,” and you just won’t feel comfortable or good in it. That means it’s not a good outfit for you. I would just say to wear what you want because life is short-ish. Dressing for yourself is most important because you are never going to feel good, comfortable or like what you wear if you buy it just because you think that is what will make you cool.

Fashion Icon: Emma Otera

Emma Otera brings the style and coolness of Verona, Italy to the suburban streets of America. As she is living out her American dream, she shares the art of Italian fashion. Her style is always changing; from very feminine and floral, to bold and unique. Her fusion of Italian and American style makes Emma a unique style icon on campus.  

When did you start to express yourself through fashion?

When I was younger I didn’t like fashion at all, but my Mom really liked fashion so she brought me out shopping and everything. So at the beginning I was wearing her clothes and now I just go and buy what I think would be cute for me.

Can you classify your style in a couple words?

I don’t know how to classify my fashion because I don’t just go into one type of shop. I buy whatever I think is my type. I like a lot of different styles. I really like Mimi Asguarry, she’s a blogger. Also Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

Italy is one of the most respectable countries in the fashion world, does living there effect your style?

Yeah, I think so. In Verona, where I live, I wear my mom’s clothes. She buys her clothes in our shops. She likes some good brands. In Italy, I live near Milan, the city of fashion. I mean I feel like here [in America] the people are more casual, like jeans and t-shirt or something. And in Verona, everybody has to look perfect. There’s not competition but everybody looks so nice and so perfect. People try to dress up nice and everything.

What is your go-to color palatte?

Colors, ah. I wear  a lot of black and I really like the color yellow or something blue. I wear plain clothes like black or white but I like to put color in it. So maybe like a big, red sweater with black clothes or jeans.

As a fashion icon at West Ranch, what is your advice to other students that want to change their style?

It depends on the person. If you are strong enough and don’t care about other people, just do it. People usually see you at school, so if you want to dress different but you don’t feel comfortable dressing different at school then be different outside of school.  Somethings I don’t feel comfortable wearing to school, so I wear them outside of school. I don’t care if other people see me because I don’t know them. You know, teenagers are mean so dress and wear what you think makes you feel comfortable and good.


How do you get inspired?

Traveling and seeing different types of people means a lot. Now I can tell my style has been changing since I’ve been here. I think that’s a big part of my style because the fashion here is different from the fashion in Verona. It’s cool cause I think my own style comes from mixing different styles I see when I am traveling.

Where is your favorite place to shop in America?  

I really really like Free People. That type of like-- I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not country but kind of indie. I like those kind of shops.