Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


People of UW: MODA Magazine photoshoot production coordinator talks passion for inspiring creativity through photography

Stories of students: Read about students making a difference on campus

Editor’s note: People of UW is a human interest series produced by Badger Herald staff members. The series aims to highlight a student or student group at the University of Wisconsin making an impact on the campus community. These Q&As are lightly edited for clarity and style.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a senior and psychology major with an art certificate. I’m from Illinois, from Deerfield. I wasn’t really involved in art in high school or anything. I was a biology major, then I switched to psych. I initially thought I wanted to be in the healthcare field and I was taking all of these STEM classes, and I just felt like I needed a creative outlet. At first, I just started it as like, “Oh, it would be fun to paint” and I started doing these beginner painting classes. And then I was like, “I really like this for more than just painting.” I really liked the things that I learned through it because you gain so many different perspectives. I feel like I grew into more of my identity, and because of that I’ve become really thankful that I found art in college.


What is MODA magazine?

It’s a lifestyle, and premiere magazine. It’s all about cultivating creativity and passions that a bunch of students have. It’s kind of like a central place for everyone to explore all of their different creative interests that they have. So like photography, modeling, art, design or writing.

What is your role with MODA and what are your responsibilities in this role?

This year, basically, what I do is the creative directions and the different shoots that go on and manage all the different photoshoots that go on for each issue. Some of that would include just casting models, and leading people who are also new to MODA, who are interested in photography, or editorial elements of it. I’m kind of just here to help people through that process too. Currently, I would say the biggest thing that I’m doing is Fashion Week. It’s a week of just celebrating the fashion community and creative community at UW. It’s all about, for example, partnering with local small businesses, kind of getting those businesses’ names out there, also working with student designers that are in SOHE, and having a week where you celebrate all of their talent.

What inspired you to take on this role?

I think that visual elements are really important. In student publications, especially with MODA, I feel like there’s a lot of creative ways you can go about it, and a bunch of different concepts you can explore. I think that with visual elements, because you don’t necessarily have words to rely on to tell your story, the things that you put in the shoots are important, and the ways that you convey whatever message you want to, it’s important to do it in an educated and informed way that is inclusive to everyone. I think that that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to apply for this role, because I think that the context is really important when it comes to visual things, and I think understanding those elements is really important.

What are some of your goals for MODA?

One of my main things is just showing more representation. A lot of the times there’s this stereotype when it comes to photoshoots or editorial shoots, there’s a lot of stereotypical norms that play into it. All of these beauty norms and all these societal expectations that come in the fashion community. I think it’s really important to have an environment where all different identities are appreciated, and all different types of people are appreciated. Growing up, for example, I rarely ever saw Asian representation in media, so I think that it’s really important for people in marginalized communities or minority communities to see more diversity in the media.

What is your favorite part of this role and MODA as a whole?

I really like the community and friends that I’ve met through it. I initially was taking a lot of science classes, and it’s kind of hard to meet other people that also need a creative outlet in those types of environments that are kind of restricting. And no one’s forcing you to do MODA. Everyone who’s in it, wants to do it and wants to be there. So I think it’s really energizing to be around a bunch of people who care about what they’re doing and want to do a bunch of different things.

How can students get involved with MODA?

Show up on Tuesdays. Everyone’s super welcoming and there’s a bunch of different ways to get involved. Honestly, you can literally just do whatever creative thing you want to do. It’s not a common opportunity to walk in somewhere and just have that liberty.

What are some post-grad goals you have? Do you intend to pursue this role post-grad?

I definitely want to keep art in my life. It’s something that I’ve had to actively fight for to keep in my life. I think that a lot of the times these artistic realms, these creative realms, are not super conventional, and I think that can get discouraging at times. I am kind of at a point where I know I want to keep these creative elements in my life, so post-grad I’m moving to Chicago and I want to have a career where I’m providing value to the community by using my creative skills and artistic skills. Whatever that entails, I don’t exactly know, but I think that that’s also a part of life, you just try to experience a bunch of things and you see what you like, and you see what you don’t like, and you learn from there.

What’s your favorite shoot you’ve done so far?

My favorite shoot is the one that we did last semester for the Glamour issue. It was the article about different representations of femininity in the media. For that we wanted to kind of go against those stereotypical ideas of Hollywood beauty. I worked with these two beautiful models and we did looks where it wasn’t super gender restrictive, letting them style themselves in ways that they wanted to dress. I think having that freedom is really important, so that was really fun to do. It was kind of like a “fuck you” to those norms. So it was really fun and cool to be a part of that too.

Anything else we should know?

MODA is hosting UW Fashion Week April 15-19. Make sure you stop by for the UWFW Finale Fashion Show April 19th at the Orpheum! Doors open at 8:00 p.m and the show starts at 8:30 pm. Admission is free! See you there!

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