Skip to main content

Youth Insights

Spring 2012
With K8 Hardy

K8 Hardy’s work draws on the tropes of fashion advertising, combining some of its most recognizable modes–product close-ups, meticulous styling and staging, eye-catching colors–into an abstraction of the genre. Rather than simply poking fun at fashion and its commercialization, Hardy complicates our learned response to the conventions of advertising. Spring 2012 YI Writers worked with Hardy to explore the relationship between visual art and text through the creation of artist books and zines. They created a wide range of alter egos that they explored through collages, photographs, and a zine. Participants were excited to attend the fashion show that Hardy hosted on May 20 as part of the 2012 Whitney Biennial.


My name is Billy. I am from Brooklyn, NY, where the arts have always been an integrated part of my childhood. I am currently a senior in high school. My interest came from the many museum trips I took in elementary school. Besides regularly attending museums, my hobbies include music, running, swimming, and photography. Art is an escape from reality for me. I love that it allows me to step into the shoes and take on the viewpoint of the artist, especially for pieces with a political or social context. In the future, I hope to become an art curator and be able to work with many people in the field on a daily basis!


My name is Chloe. I am currently a junior at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School majoring in Visual Arts. I enjoy making all types of art. I was raised in Brooklyn. I love photography, painting with watercolors, sewing clothes, writing, and drawing. I love visiting art museums and discovering an exhibition that I have never seen before. Art means everything to me. It has always been a part of my life, especially because I live down the block from the Brooklyn Museum. When I was younger, you could always find me writing a very long fiction story without an ending, drawing some type of person with those “sunflower” hands, a kitchen, a treasure map, copying a painting, or making miniature paper purses for my friends. However, as I got older, I began to use a variety of media and subjects. In my future, I hope to be in the art field, but I am also interested in biology. Whatever career path I take, I know that art will always be part of my life.


Art is more than entertainment. It elicits this personal interaction with my brain and emotions and its versatility is unmatched. It can really take over without it being seen as harmful. It’s the exception to so many rules. I am inspired by nature as well as by genuine things and people. I am quite timid when it comes to expressing myself. But I usually write autobiographically—both to challenge myself and to relish in the excitement of the thought of someone reading stuff I wrote honestly, and, to an extent, personally. To be honest, there is not much to write about personally, so it’s more about projecting my own ideologies and ideals.


My name is Jeong, and I currently reside in Queens. I am interested in everything that triggers my attention and interest. The arts, to me, mean all that surrounds me and that gets me thinking. A sudden twitch my sister makes while asleep, the shape and form of a rusty ball chain in my necklace, and a crack formed in the bathroom door somewhere in the past—these are the things that can motivate me to think and give me inspiration. The arts are the things I am engaged in, the things that I create and the things that form me. They are all around me, forcing me to develop another means of communication with people aside from speaking. In the future, I hope to continue to express myself and share my views on the world with other people through my work.


I have lived in downtown Manhattan my whole life and I love the breadth of opportunity this city offers. I spend my time exploring New York City, which does a fantastic job of satisfying my interests in art, film, and dance. Art is a significant part of my life because my parents moved to New York City from Argentina to set up an art gallery. Art fairs and museums have been an integral part of my education. I am really glad to be learning and growing in this program as a writer and an admirer of art. I hope to pursue a career that involves creation and allows me to continue learning about the arts.


My name is Keyana and I am a sixteen year-old junior at Williamsburg Charter High School. I like drinking Naked smoothies, watching 80s movies, and trying new things on the Thai menu. More importantly, I am fascinated with photography. Having the ability to freeze moments in time and to capture struggles and everyday life is just amazing. One day I hope to be a successful, well-known photographer, with my powerful images captivating others around the world. Aside from photography, I enjoy writing anything from short stories to songs and everything in between—except essays. Art is really important. It is self-expression, and it is always beautiful. Whether it’s a Van Gogh painting or two pieces of string tied in a knot, it’s still art and that’s the best part, the fact that no one can disagree. Aside from being a museum fanatic and an aspiring artist, I volunteer in charities. It is always great to give back to the community and I always feel at peace with myself after a long day of work. These are just some things about me and what I believe that makes me Keyana.


Kristen is currently attending the Institute for Collaborative Education. She hates when she has to say the name of her school. Everyone at school calls it ICE, but that doesn't make sense to just tell people without explaining what it stands for. This means she then needs to say the whole long name and people are all like, “Oh an institute, how fancy.” Which is definitely the wrong idea, ICE is much more relaxed than that. She was born in Virginia and moved to New York a little more than two years ago. People make fun of her southern roots. She likes anything and everything that is listed under “the arts.” All of it fascinates her. The freer the expression, the more captivated, inspired, and envious she is.


My name is Medge. I’m sixteen years old and I live in Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager I’m still trying to find myself. I’ve found that a good way to escape my everyday life is through writing and art. With writing I feel like I can vent and let my emotions flow. If I simply look at an artwork I feel refreshed. Letting the different colors wash into my mind makes me relaxed. I’ve always had an interest in writing. I love how when I’m writing, it feels as if the world around me stops and it’s only me and my thoughts. I can write anything down without being scared of being judged. Writing is my escape from my ordinary life.


I'm Michelle and I'm fickle. To make things worse, I fell in love with an idea—the belief that anything I create with my hands or mind or mouth can hold weight in this world (albeit dead weight at times). Maybe that's what absorbed me into art and writing. I tend to fear anything that exists solely outside my head, and to fear the inevitability that everything that exists inside will find its way out. I'm not introverted per se, but I am very protective as is anyone with some(thing) they love. Growing up in the urban center of the world, I have a passion for street culture that inspires a lot of what I do. Although I can't predict my capacity to survive off my ambitions alone, I have every intention of forcing myself to do so. Aside from the romantic idealism, I attend the Bronx High School of Science and enjoy twilight reads, bread, the dog from The Artists, and custom shoes. And I REALLY love lamps—the perfect, circular, ash-yellow almost amber lighting sort of lamp. 


My name is Niki and I am a junior at Hunter College High School. This is my second semester participating in the Youth Insights Writers program. I have grown up in New York City and have been exposed to art from a very young age. My mother is a director and curator at a contemporary art gallery in Manhattan and my father represents musicians and visual artists, so I have been constantly exposed to the works of different artists and been able to watch their works transform and grow over time. Seeing works develop as time progresses is very important, as it is a reflection of the artists’ thought. I believe art is everywhere, and it can be seen if one has an open mind and an ability to discover beauty.  


I am Nikola. Sparkles, family, and food are all very important to me. I am of Jewish, European, and Greek descent. I’ve loved to do art all my life. I remember how much consideration I would put into my Barbie and Disney princess coloring books. I have a very artistic family so art was appreciated enthusiastically as I was growing up. Art as well as fashion inspires me to come up with my own ideas, daydreams, and even goals for the future


My name is Rae-Ann and I am sixteen years old. I live in the Bronx with my mother and little brother. I go to the High School of Fashion Industries, which is located in the heart of the Fashion District in New York City. I’m an art major. When I was little I never thought about taking art seriously, as in actually pursuing it. I always wanted to know how to draw, just because my mom was really good at it and I wanted to be like her, but my heart back then belonged to science. I studied science really hard in school but at home I practiced drawing. I did mostly observation drawings and eventually became very good at it. In the seventh grade I started to dislike science. I found myself always doodling in class and volunteering to draw for others. So now I love art!


Hi! I'm Skye and I'm a junior at Bard High School Early College. I'm from—and love—New York City, but my parents are originally from Ireland. What brought me to Youth Insights was my love of art and writing. My interests are dancing, writing, and watching as much reality TV as I can! To me, art means the expression of ideas in every creative way possible. Because of that, I think it is fair to say, art inspires me in every aspect of my life. Being able to express myself, and looking up to those who are artistic, is my greatest inspiration. In the future I hope to achieve all my dreams and goals, even if I'm not exactly sure what those goals are yet.




A 30-second online art project:
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Sky/World Death/World

Learn more

Learn more at