Why We Create


“Love is a Labor” by Kaia Wells

Marcelina Kukawska, Photographer/Reporter

Teenagers use many different forms of art to express themselves. Expression is a fundamental aspect of their lives and it provides them an opportunity to form and communicate their thoughts and emotions in a creative way. 

These creative minds see the world for more than it is and are driven by the desire to voice their visions and imperceptible ideas. Young artists are dispersed throughout John Adams High School, and can be found painting, making ceramics, or even writing songs. A handful of John Adams High School artists have agreed to share their thoughts on creative expression, how it has impacted them, and what it has helped them achieve.

Young artists choose to express themselves for numerous reasons. For many teenagers, art is a way of forming connections and impacting other individuals. JA’s Kaia Wells, who explores a variety of mediums, such as paints, collages, and textiles, believes that creating art is an opportunity to interact with others. Wells explains that, through their work, they hope to impart a place of comfort and representation to those around them.

Lily Khan, a singer, songwriter, and composer, has a similar approach to creating. She hopes that those who listen to her songs are able to relate to them and find comfort within them. Khan says that a lot of raw and intense emotions go into her songs, and her goal is for people to find solace within that.

Creative expression also serves as a way of conveying emotions that are difficult to voice elsewhere. Lily Khan explains that her work is an outlet and an escape that allows her to express any difficult emotions that she is faced with. Likewise, Kaia Wells claims that creative expression is a cathartic experience that has helped them process some of the hardest parts of their life thus far.

Oxytocin by Lily Khan
“Oxytocin” by Lily Khan

Ruth Halperin, a violinist at John Adams, believes that playing the violin and manipulating its melody allows her to imitate the feelings that she isn’t able to express verbally. This form of creative expression brings Ruth happiness because it reminds her of the progress she has made and the long way that she has come since she began playing the violin. 

Lynda White, a senior and visual artist at John Adams, shares this perspective and finds joy within being able to convey ideas of strength and resilience through her work. “Creating makes me feel at peace and like I have something important to say.” Lynda explains. 

JA’s teens find inspiration everywhere. Many young artists are inspired by their personal experiences. Kaia Wells finds inspiration not only within the hardships that they have faced with mental illness, but also within hopeful concepts, such as personal growth. Lynda White’s pieces are inspired by art styles, techniques, and stories and Lily Khan’s work is inspired by unrefined emotions and life experiences.

The environment at John Adams has a large impact on the way in which these young artists convey their thoughts and express themselves. Kaia Wells and Lynda White both take part in the IB Visual Arts course at John Adams. Kaia believes that the critical feedback and the wide range of resources that the class has provided them with has aided them as an artist and helped them find inspiration within their own life. Lynda, who explores many mediums, including ceramics, painting, and graphite, claims that the class has supplied her with valuable guidance and has inspired her to be more expressive and experimental with her art.

Creative expression plays a significant role in the lives of teenagers; it’s a way of connecting, telling stories, and imparting ideas and emotions. The creative minds of John Adams High School are a beacon of hope and innovation and will have a great impact on the world.