Sharing their specialties

Sierra Randel, Staff Writer

Instagram is not just for selfies anymore.

Cal High students use Instagram to work with companies, sell products, and to reach a wider audience for their talent than they could otherwise. Thefollowing students showcasecalligraphy, artwork, pho-tography, and music on their accounts.

Caitlin Wong, Calligraphy/ Bullet Journaling

Junior Caitlin Wong uses her Instagram account @cait.ligra-phy to showcase her calligraphy and bullet journaling.

Bullet journaling is a systemof planning that involves log- ging tasks, often in an artisticmanner. Wong displays her creative talent by decorating her journal with calligraphy, doodles, and stickers.

Wong started her account in April 2017 in order to inspireherself and others to journal.

“My Instagram accountmotivates me to keep up withmy journal,” Wong said. “It’srewarding to know that other people appreciate something that I spend a lot of time andenergy on.”

The account also allows her to work with stationery and stickerbrands, and earn discounts fromtheir shops in the process.

In order to work with stickerbrands, Wong said she usually

lls out an application, and thenit is up to the shop to decide whoto work with.

“If you’re chosen, you re- ceive a pack of sticker sheets to use to promote the shop and are also given a personal discount code, as well as a discount codeto share with your followers,”said Wong, who works with @tinyworldpaperco, @bobapa-perco, and @shiokstickerss.

Wong said sometimes school- work and extracurriculars canget in the way of her uploads,but she prepares photos ahead oftime in order to make it easier.

Wong enjoys the many up-sides of her Instagram account. “I’ve made a lot of friends through my Instagram sincewe connect over our commoninterests,” Wong said. “I havefriends now from all over the

world which is really cool.” Junior Abby Nguyen has seen Wong’s account grow and

improve over time.
“[She] is so talented and puts

so much thought and effort into her work, which shows in herbeautiful feed,” Nguyen said.“It is wonderful that she isable to share her calligraphy and creativity on social media.”

Nadya Higgins and Luka Kawashima, Art

Juniors Nadya Higgins,@stella_muse, and LukaKawashima, @ljk.arts, use Instagram as a way to showcase their artwork.

Higgins said she sees Ins-

tagram as a way to hopefully inspire others through her art.

“My user name takes ‘Stella’ (star) from the meaning of my name and the word ‘muse’because I hope to be a sourceof inspiration for others,” said Higgins.

It’s also a way for her to promote the children’s book, “Taika,” which she wrote and illustrated. The account pro- vides a link to the Amazon pagefor the book in its description.

Kawashima started his ac-count about a year ago to sharehis art with his friends, includ- ing digital art, ink illustrations,and oil paintings.

Although he uses his accountas a tool to display his work, Kawashima’s passion for art exists outside of Instagram.

“I would be making art re- gardless of whether I had theintention of posting it or not,” he said.

Higgins started her account after her brother recommended it as a forum to share her art, and she values being able to moti-vate others through her work.

“I think in the beginning Iwas more concerned with my follower count, but now I don’t care as much,” Higgins said. “Instead I’m just happy if people enjoy the art, or better yet, are inspired from it.”

Kawashima expressed asimilar sentiment.

“My only goal is to keep doing what I’m doing right now– share art with others and try to improve,” he said. “I don’t think that the number of likes or followers really matter that much since they don’t reflect the quality of your work.”

Higgins’ friend Eric Koadmires the work she puts intoher pieces.

“Many of her masterpiecestake inspiration from Japanese animations, and can show such vivid expressions from even justa simple late-night sketch,” said Ko, a junior.

Iris Foo, Blake Cunningham, and Connor Lowe, Photography

Instagram is the perfect platform for seniors Iris Foo, @iriscopic, Blake Cunning- ham, @_blake34, and ConnorLowe,, who use it to display their photography.

Foo’s photography is mostlyfrom her summer trip to Japan, and she described her theme as“dark street photography.”

Cunningham started his ac-count around a year ago at therecommendation of his friendsand family.

He appreciates Instagram forthe ability to expose his pho-tography to a wider audience, and enjoys the response he has received from other users.

“I’ve found my con dence asa photographer has grown since starting the account since all thefeedback has been incredibly positive,” Cunningham said.

Lowe started his account as a place to showcase photos of his friends.

“[I] would take photos forfriends’ Instagram accountsand would have good leftover photos but nowhere to putthem,” said Lowe. “This gaveme a reason to just open a photoaccount for fun.”

Foo uses Instagram not onlyas a place to post but also tospark creativity.

“I easily found inspiration from many other photo ac-counts,” she said. “It gave menew ideas that I would want totry sometime.”

Foo said the account was tire-some at rst when she uploaded every three days. Now, she saidshe wants to keep the accountmore casual.

One reason for her decrease in posts is that it is harder tond locations to photograph at home than it was in Asia.In the future, Foo thinks shemight try something new with the account.

“I also have been thinking oftrying new styles of photogra-phy such as portraits or maybe a new theme,” Foo said.

Cunningham is a student inAP Photography, which he said has greatly aided him in im-proving his photography skills.

He also improves his photog-raphy outside of class. He said that he typically uploads photos every two or three days.

“It’s dif cult to post when I haven’t shot in a while,” Cunningham said. “Thankfully that isn’t much of a problem since I shoot pretty frequently.”

Lowe has taken Black andWhite Photography 1 andAdvanced Black and WhitePhotography.

“The class actually got me into photography and helped me learn my technique andknowledge about photos andcameras,” said Lowe.

He said he uploads weekly atthe most, since the account isjust a hobby for him right now.

“I’m just trying to show off my work and have fun with it,” he said.

Vincent Talino, Music

Sophomore Vincent Talino’saccount @vsx100 is dedicatedto his saxophone music.

“My goal for my musicInstagram account is to use itas an archive,” said Talino. “In the future I’ll look back at what I used to do.”

Talino said he doesn’t plan onpursuing the saxophone whenhe is older. Instead, he sees it as a short term hobby and Instagram as a way to showcase it.

“I do it for fun and to trainmy ears and improve my perfect pitch,” said Talino.

The variety of accounts show the diversity of talents among students at Cal. Their ability touse social media as a platform to reach a wider audience demon-strates ingenuity and initiative to go beyond traditional methods of sharing skills.