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Genius Watch: Demi M. of New Albany High School


New Albany High School

As a photographer you are obviously gifted with spatial genius, which is the ability to see creatively without an external model. Before we discuss this, please tell us a little bit about yourself, including family and other areas of interest.

I was born in Columbus, Ohio, and have lived here all my life. I went to Columbus Public Schools for several years, but now proudly attend New Albany High School. I’ve always been fascinated by Art since I was a little kid. Photography has not been my only interest in this field. I have also developed my skills in painting, figure drawing, still life, sculpture, and multi-media designing. Music is another area of interest. I am a self-taught pianist and guitarist. I also took band throughout middle school, learning how to play the clarinet. I still plan to learn many other instruments in the future, but I’m not anticipating a music career. Music is just one of my enjoyable hobbies. I am most passionate about the photography and graphic design industry.

I’ve won several awards with my artwork. My first award, and probably my most prized one yet, I received when I was in the second grade. In second grade, my mom never got my artwork back from art class because she later found out that my art teacher was sending all of my work to art shows downtown. I won one of the best in-show prizes and got to go downtown to present my picture. I also won another best in-show ribbon in sixth grade for a chalk pastel drawing of a flower. This drawing is now hanging in our home.

My family has always supported me in my artistic efforts. They are always cheering me on and pushing me to take my talents to the limit! I think that a good support system is a vital key to success. If you don’t have anyone by your side to back you up and tell you that you can do it (even if it is your own self!), then you will have no motive or heartfelt conviction to realize your dreams. That’s why I feel so blessed to have family and friends that are there to reassure me when I start to doubt myself.

It comes so natural and your work is amazing! What does photography mean to you? (Please talk about your natural spatial genius – the ability to see creatively without an external model.)

Ever since I was young, I’ve always had a keen eye for things that are easily passed up by the person who rushes through life. I think that is why it comes so easy to me. It seems like everyone is always rushing to get somewhere or to do something. But I like to take my time and look at everything. I hate missing anything, whether it is the takeoff of a flock of birds or that moment when someone is genuinely laughing and they have that spark of life in their eye. These are the moments that I wish to capture in my pictures. These are the moments I want people to see. Photography is more than just taking pretty pictures; it’s about making history.

The wonderful thing about a camera is that it can stop time. With a camera, you can catch a moment in time and keep it forever. And no matter how much you change, you can always look back at that picture and it will take you back to that exact moment when the picture was taken. The photographer that I idolize the most is Raúl Corrales. He was a Spanish photographer that believed in photography as an art and as a portal to the past. His philosophy on photography rings true to me wholeheartedly. Once a moment passes, you can never get it back. Only a camera has the power to freeze time just for you! Sadly, Raúl Corrales passed away in 2006 and I mourn the death of a true artist.

What advice would you give to students to help them tap into their artistic or creative genius?

You can’t learn talent. Plain and simple. However, everyone has their own unique set of talents and abilities, but sometimes they’re hidden. We each have to go on our own journey to find our talents and skills. Sure, you can learn how to draw a bowl of fruit, but you can’t learn how to see the world in an artistic perspective; that is something you have to develop yourself. A way that I tap into my creative side is by letting my surroundings inspire me with new ideas and concepts that I could have never achieved just by sitting around and racking my brain. Sometimes, in art, what you’re looking for isn’t always in your mind. Sometimes you just have to look around. It will expand your views and broaden your horizons to new thoughts and unique perspectives in a world full of unlimited possibilities. You just have to open your mind and be willing to learn new things.

Do you find it difficult to do well in other subjects outside of art or photography?

I don’t find other subjects necessarily difficult, but they are much harder. I think it’s because other subjects narrow my view into one line of ideas. In math, you cannot really express yourself creatively; it’s very structured and dull to me. The only other subject that I can express my creativity in is English. And then again, only through creative writing. It’s not that I don’t like other subjects, or that I consider them less important. I’m just saying that it gets kind of annoying when you have to shut off the left side of your brain and turn on the right.

After high school, do you plan to attend a traditional 4-year college or an art institute?

I still haven’t decided on that yet. I know that if I go to an art college, I’m probably going to enroll at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD). I have an interest in the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for photography and/or graphic design as well. The only reason that I’m not completely sure is that I really want to minor in Spanish. I still have yet to decide what college I would go to if I went to a traditional college. But I do know that OSU is at the top of my list.

Let’s fast forward 5 or 10 years into the future. What do you see yourself doing?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I have so many different opportunities to go in, so many different directions that I don’t think I’ll know the answer to that question until I’m actually there. But I can tell you where I hope to be. In 5-10 years I would like to have my own photography studio. But I don’t want to put a limit on the things that I take pictures of. I want to do everything from advertisement photography to senior pictures. But, like I stated before, I won’t know for sure until I get there.


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