Crafting as Stress Relief

AMNA QURESHI

With figuring out how to do laundry, cramming with Study Edge, and debating which dining hall’s mystery meat to pick, college is quite demanding. In an effort to de-stress, the following students turn to art.

Diego J Rodriguez, photographer

 What do you do,  and what are usually your subjects?
“I usually like taking pictures of nature such as animals or landscape. I like taking pictures of nature more than people, because  it is harder to get a candid picture of a person.”

What camera and lens do you use?
“I use a Nikon D5100 with a 55-300mm lens, or I use the 18-55mm lens. I have also used a Canon black and white film camera. When I used that camera, I developed my own film, and the pictures I took, I scanned to be in a digital format.”

How long have you been doing this?
“I have been doing this for about 4 years and have been using my camera ever since I first bought it.”

What drew you to photography?
“The reason that I had liked photography was that I had always liked using my mom’s little digital camera when we went on trips. My parents both saw that I took pictures of people rather than pictures of places or of things, so for my birthday they bought me my professional camera, and I have loved taking pictures ever since.”

Why is this stress-relieving for you?
“This is a stress reliever because for a couple of seconds I can stop focusing on the things in my life that cause me anxiety. I can just focus on the image that I see through the lens. I take a moment to just appreciate what I see through it, and it helps me calm down. Then seeing the pictures at home later is a really cool feeling, especially when I can share it with friends.”

Karen Polanco, artist

What media do you primarily use?
Mostly acrylic and oil on canvas

What you do?
Through the visual arts, I interpret my thoughts and feelings. Most of my artwork is about family, unity, and exploring different settings through different times of the day. I want to show how different seasons and weather can affect the view of an image and change the meaning of a picture. By showing a place’s identity, I want to make the viewer see or feel that there is a different atmosphere being presented in each painting. Each has a memory with significant value in making me the person I am today

How long have been you painting?
I have been drawing ever since I was young; I attended a middle school and high school with an art magnet program, and I plan to get a minor in studio art at UF.

Why do you paint?
I’ve done it for a long time — since elementary school. It’s been a constant in my ever-changing life. It’s a skill that I’ve been developing and it’s something I can always come back to. Also, I always choose subjects that I am very interested in, like an event that’s happened to me. I also like that it’s a controlled outcome, and it’s soothing to know that I control the situation. I like the freedom of not having to follow a rubric or a deadline, and that I paint for me.

Where can your work be viewed?
My most meaningful commitment is in the visual arts and I wanted to showcase that through a website, [http://www.karenpolanco.weebly.com<http://www.karenpolanco.weebly.com/%5Dwww.karenpolanco.weebly.com<http://www.karenpolanco.weebly.com/&gt;.

Naba Zabih, photographer

What do you do and what are usually your subjects?
I shoot anything from families to maternity photography and weddings to stylized shoots. My personal favorite, of course, being the latter. Generally, the first couple I listed will be paid shoots, so my subjects are clients. For stylized shoots, I’ve gone from shooting complete strangers who want to expand modeling portfolios to close friends who just want to have some fun.

What camera and lens do you use?
In regards to materials, I shoot with Canon, and while I do have zoom lenses, I prefer to work with primes. They are kind of magical, to be honest.

How long have you been into photography this?
I’ve only been shooting for two years!

What drew you to photography?
It’s funny, actually. My dad was an avid photographer when he was younger, but the hobby wasn’t something he necessarily passed down to me. I was just always very aware of it. Then, two years ago, I volunteered at a studio as someone who just did paperwork. Whenever I had free time, though, they would let me play around with the studio for fun. One day the manager stopped by and told me I had an eye for it, and I was kind of hired on the spot.

Why is this stress-relieving for you?
I would say that photography is stress relieving because I get to interact with people and make them laugh and smile. Who wouldn’t want to do that? And if it’s a stylized shoot, I’m not just relieving stress, but being pumped full of creative juices and ideas, and I feel like I’m on a happy high.

Where can your work be viewed?
I have a photography page on Facebook, Naba Zabih Photography, and I also use my instagram to showcase my work, @nabazabih. However, I do have a website in the works currently! I am super excited about that. It’s just bones right now, but in case you wanna check it out it’s nabazabihphotography.com<http://nabazabihphotography.com/&gt;

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