Being a part of Élan this year has opened my eyes to art and writing in so many new ways. Before, I think a lot of my perception of art was limited to what I’d seen at Douglas Anderson because I hadn’t really been to many art galleries before or seen professional artwork in an environment outside of the school. Being on the staff, though, I got to read pieces and view art that was completely different than the things I’m used to seeing. At first I was surprised by the pieces because they were nothing like those in the various art galleries at DA, these pieces were more abstract and vibrant. However, I came to appreciate them for their raw talent and how looking at them made me feel like I could create something like that as well.
The same goes with the writing that we read as a staff as well. It’s kind of cliché to say, but I was used to the “doom and gloom” that often comes from the depths that the creative writers around me reach into themselves to put into their writing. Knowing that there’s more to write about, different voices to speak from has really opened me up to trying new things on my own time. I’ve been more inspired to write on my own more this year than I have in all three years I’ve been at DA, and I owe a lot of that to Élan and the many artists who submit to the magazine.
I also learned what it means to be a part of a team this year. Of course, I’ve been on teams before so I know the importance of working together, but this year taught me how essential that skill is. If we don’t work together and tell each other what we need we’ll sink, and we’ll all sink together. Communication is the most important part of being a team because if you don’t tell each other your needs, nothing can get done.
I really hope to bring the same amount of passion and dedication to the staff next year that I’ve experienced this year. Having a smaller staff will be a challenge, which will require more dedication and commitment. However, I really enjoyed the staff this year and I know that I’m ready and willing to dedicate my time to keep it afloat next year.
I also hope to bring a better unity to the staff next year. This year, I sometimes felt out the loop when it came to community events or things going on in class. I know that it’s not a priority to keep the people who aren’t a part of an event in the immediate know, but if an extra hand is needed and we have to pull someone in, it’s better if they come in knowing what to do so things will go easier. More importantly, though, I just hope to continue the legacy of Élan successfully and that the coming years continue it as well.
-Kinley Dozier - Website/Submissions Editors