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  • Art---I-Whip-My-Hair-Back-and-Forth_web

Michela Iwanski

  • Michela Iwanski, Academic TransferMichela-Iwanski_web

    Michela was an intrinsic part of the success of Volume 14, in which a number of her captivating photos were published, along with a poem. Convinced of Michela's artistic skills, the Editorial Team awarded her the Runner-Up Artwork Prize. More of her photos were also featured in Volume 15. In their discussion of her photos, Team members described her fun and lively portraits and still-life compositions as "well-composed," "professionally done," clean," "crisp," "luminous," and "mysterious." Certainly, this is a girl with a talent for exposing striking images.

    Michela spoke with Illuminations about the storytelling of photography and how instinct plays a role in being artistic.

    Illuminations:  Your photographic subjects are varied, but you certainly seem to enjoy photographing people. Why are you drawn to portraits?

    Michela:  I love to photograph people because I feel I am really good at capturing personalities. I think that's part of what makes an amazing photograph. A photo needs to tell a story; it's not just an image.

    I:  You photograph in both color and in black and white. Do you have a preference for one or the other, and how do you decide which to use?

    M: I love the dynamic of black and white, but sometimes, if the lighting is right, colors can also pop. I don't have a preference; it depends solely on each picture.

    I:  In your bio for Volume 14, you write that you grew up with art and music, and you describe yourself as "really artsy." How did your upbringing encourage your love of the arts?

    M:  Well, my dad has always been in bands, and both of my parents are painters. I come from an artsy family, and I love creating.

    I:  In addition to your photos, you had a poem, "Jack," published in Volume 14. Do you have a preference between writing and photography? What do you enjoy about the creative process of each?

    M: I do love both. While some people have a bunch of different outlets that give them the same satisfaction, I have many outlets that do different things for me. Photography makes me feel vibrant and like I've just created something that can never be recreated again. And while the same goes for writing, I'm also expressing emotion in writing. One of my instructors once told me that we write to find out what we know. Sometimes that's how you figure out yourself. I love both photography and poetry for different reasons, but I think I prefer photography because I believe I really do have a gift for that, and I fall in love with my finished products. Sometimes when I write, I feel like it's not exactly how I want it to be, and I end up changing everything. I second guess. With photography, I just do it.

    I:  Where do you see yourself as a writer/photographer in ten years?

    M:  I know I'll still be doing both in ten years. I don't know if I'll be doing them professionally, but both will always be something I do when I need a stress release or when I need to remind myself that I'm good at something.

    I:  What advice would you give an aspiring photographer?

    M:  I would tell them to have fun and to always trust instincts when choosing what/when to take a photo. Even if it seems like a silly shot, it could turn out to be one of the best photographs you've ever taken.

    by Michela Iwanski

    Round orange clumps
    of things we clutch and

    stab and paint

    pierce the skin and

    pour out seeds

    that taste so sweet

    hear the crunch and scrape

    that moment of release

    watch and smell the flame

    corrupt the perfect piece