Expressing one’s artistic autonomy is no easy task. Here are a couple queer individuals who, within their respective fields, are paving the way for self-expression and creative individualism.
Chance Allen is a junior Journalism and Media Studies double major at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He began taking pictures in his junior year of high school, and after navigating his first year of college, decided to pursue his love for photography.
“I think every photographer has their own kind of style, whether they’re trying to do it or not.” Allen said.
Allen takes pride in his creative vision, however he, like us all, faces creative challenges. Night photography in particular, is a challenging but rewarding practice Allen is trying to master.
The secret to Allen’s success in his field is to always be prepared. He will usually bring his camera everywhere, and take photos of anything and everything happening around him.
“My best photos have come sporadically. I have had some planned shoots, but I think more times than that I’ve had better ones from random moments.” Allen said.
Photo by Chance Allen
His photos capture the beauty and authenticity within Macon’s community, and his unique style illuminates the community’s rich culture and charming individuals.
“Give yourself the space and time to take photos of what you enjoy.” Allen said. “It takes time. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but if you take the time to really put in the work, it will be more rewarding.” Allen said.
Ivy Marie is a junior English Literature and Creative Writing double major at Mercer University. She first started writing when she was little, eventually picked up poetry in middle school, and started to solidify her writing skills in high school.
“I’ve been writing my whole life, but I started taking it seriously as a junior in high school.” Marie said.
Finding her literary voice was a journey for Marie. As she ticked off the poets who she simply could not relate to, she found that there were many that were not the right fit.
“In the beginning it was really hard to find confidence in myself. I knew I didn’t like old poetry. The challenge was finding my own voice.” she said.
Now, as a confident poet, Marie is navigating how to decipher the line between sharing her art without oversharing her personal life.
“I don’t need to make art that shows all of my trauma, everything I’ve been through, all at once.” Marie said. “Some things are good to keep to myself.”
Poetry by Ivy Marie
Marie handles all her poems tenderly. She strives to do justice to her experience while also creating stories that carefully cradle her queer experience.
“No matter what I try to do, it always comes off as very gentle, and very ethereal, even when I don’t mean to.” Marie said.
Marie’s poetry takes a snapshot of her queer experience. Her storytelling makes for vivid, artful pieces of work that perfectly capture what it’s like to feel and live openly and freely.