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The Arrow

The Arrow

WHS students engage their creative power

Creativity’s benefits for students include stress management, career preparedness and building interpersonal relationships.
PASSIONATE PODCASTERS: Brothers Jace Adeva ‘24 and Jax Adeva ‘25 host the podcast Bros Before Foes to highlight WHS student athletes.

 

The earliest recordings of art, dated over 40,000 years old, were paintings on cave walls and were viewed as the pinnacles of artistic creation. However, in today’s age, there are limitless varieties of ways people express themselves with their imagination and creativity.

MAKING MELODIES: Composer Emmy Julian ‘24 loves music and its many creative benefits. She is passionate about music because it gives her a place to process her feelings and experiences. (courtesy of Emmy Julian )

Creativity is the possession of curiosity and one’s ability to be innovative and observative, according to psychologytoday.com. Aside from the textbook definition, many also have more personal conceptions of creativity.

“Creativity is creating anything,” said first chair trombonist Luciano Soriano ‘24. “People will say that you have to abide by certain rules, … [but] creativity is just whatever you want to do.”

At WHS, students unleash their creativity in a multitude of ways, ranging from art to music to acting and everything in between.

“Some people use art and drawings to express themselves, some people use dance and some people use singing, and I guess performing is a little bit of everything,” said theatrical performer Maddie Ragsdale ‘24. “People get to see you showcase your creativity.”

For some students, a motivation to create might stem from a more general appreciation for the arts.

“I think my favorite part about [acting] is storytelling,

” said actress Olivia Marcum ‘26. “I’ve always been big into storytelling and conveying emotion through people, and acting plays a big part in that.

For others, their creative endeavor may aim towards more specific goals such as bringing attention to certain issues or experiences.

“I think [the idea for our podcast] popped up because we always wanted to bring awareness to athletes in our region and wanted to give a platform to those who might not have a voice,” said sports podcaster and  WHS varsity lacrosse player  Jace Adeva ‘24.
More broadly, creativity can also widen horizons and increase exposure to education and different cultures.

“[Creativity] really helps education because we go to school, and we just learn facts,” said school muralist Ariana Liu ‘24, “but creativity can also help us learn interesting cultures outside of your norm and exchange thoughts and ideas.”

Creating can have a number of benefits even aside from the aforementioned. For many, it can be a way to help relieve stress, a prevalent aspect of many students’ lives especially as a side effect of demanding classes. In fact, such creativity “engages and focuses our minds on the task at hand — and distracts us from feelings of stress and anxiety,” said Deepak Chopra and Kabir Sehgal in entrepreneur.com.

“I’ve been doing [art] since I was a little kid, so it not only helps me with college applications, but it also helps me manage stress,” said artist and home muralist Talya Di Carlo ‘27. “It gives me something to do when I’m bored, and it gives me a creative

outlet to kind of do whatever I want and experiment.”

Artistic activities can help students address stress through providing students with the tools to adjust to unexpected or difficult events in their lives.

“I [create music] more for myself because, for me, it’s like a form of therapy,” said musician Emmy Julian ‘24. “If I’m writing songs about my life, it’s easier for me to process what’s happening in my life … It’s just a way of getting out my feelings and thoughts in an organized way.”

Another way these pastimes help manage stress is by providing a sense of escapism and a source of satisfaction and joy.

“Even if you don’t pursue [your creative passion] professionally, having an outlet like that is a really great way to escape the problems we face in our modern age,” said artist and fashion designer Sebastian Costache ‘27. “At the end of the day, you have something beautiful that’s in front of you. It’s like, ‘Wow, I created this.’”

Furthermore, inventiveness can improve students’ emotional and mental state because it has been “positively associated with subjective well–being,” according to nbci.nlh.gov.

“The lights are hitting you, and you’re in your costume, and you know the choreo, and there’s people you see in the audience,” said Ragsdale. “It’s definitely a moment that not many people get to experience — to have everyone watching you. It’s a certain amount of pressure, but it’s good pressure, and it feel

s so exciting.”

Beyond the individual, creative activities can also build interpersonal relationships by incorporating other people into the final product.

“[The mural I am painting in my living room] is three different paintings,” said Di Carlo. “It’s an eye and has my last name in graffiti. It has “love” on the top of it in graffiti. On the other side of the paintings is my mom and dad, and on the opposite side of that is [my brother and I]. It kind of brings us together.”

DAZZILING DANCER: Dancer of 12 years Stephanie Wise ‘26 has been in many of Pacific Festival Ballet’s productions like Camelot, The Secret Garden and The Nutcracker. (courtesy of Teri Wise)

Integrating cherished friends and family members into one’s art can also appear in the form of gifting one’s creative works in order to express heartfelt emotions to them.

“I can give stuff I make,” said Jessica Lopez ‘25, amigurumi crocheter, an art otherwise known as ‘the Japanese craft of crocheting small stuffed toys,’ according to the website www.thesprucecrafts.com. “I take time out of my day, with love … and give it to people I find precious. It’s sweet to be able to make things yourself for someone you love.”

Relationships and experiences with others can also provide inspiration for arts, compounding the other benefits these activities have.

“A lot of the music I’ve written and composed is derived from my own personal [emotions] and just my experiences with other people,” said Soriano.

Moreover, the benefits of creativity are not limited to the present — they can also have a profound impact on one’s future.

“[Music] has honestly changed my life,” said Soriano. “Once I moved here to Thousand Oaks [from the valley] and joined the band, I’d say that I’ve finally found a purpose with what I want to do with my life.”

Creativity also has the ability to positively impact lives on a smaller scale even if the hobby is generally unpopular and unexpected.

“I was trying to encourage my sister [to crochet],” said Lopez. “I was like, ‘Let me show you how to do it.’ Then it got really interesting … It was something I really enjoyed. It changed my life a little.”

Creativity, whether inspired by powerful emotions or by the people one is surrounded by, impacts and inspires students of all walks of life across the WHS campus.

“Art, as much as people pursue art as a business, should always be seen as a passion,” said Costache. “I think of it as ‘I’m trying to make the world a more beautiful place,’ and I think that’s more important than anything.”

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About the Contributors
Kalia Bell, Sports Section Editor
Hi! My name is Kalia Bell and I am a staff writer for The Arrow. Besides writing, I love to play and watch sports. I love spending time with my friends and traveling with my family. I chose to be part of the staff because I’m able to express creativity in the newspaper and the stories I write. My favorite part of writing for the newspaper is putting together multiple sides and perspectives of a story and being able to share it with others. Working together with the staff to create a product we’re proud of has been a great experience that I’m happy to extend.
Delaney Bronk, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Delaney Bronk, and I am a staff writer for the Arrow.  This is my first year on staff. Specifically, I enjoy sports writing and creating graphics. I chose to be a part of the staff because I am interested in becoming a better writer and deepening my knowledge of global and community issues. Outside of writing and school, my interests include sports, reading, traveling, listening to music, and being with my family.
Chenya Kwon, Staff Writer
My name is Chenya Kwon, and I am a staff writer on The Arrow. My favorite part about journalism is being able to interview people. Hearing about opinions, experiences, and stories firsthand makes the stories we write about feel so much more alive and impactful. Outside of journalism, I divvy up my time between cuddling with my cat Buster, painting, and watching my favorite Netflix shows.
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