Popular culture has always influenced artistic trends and styles. The genre of Pop art was conceived by forefather Andy Warhol and his infamous Campbell Soup cans that he depicted in the cans true form and simultaneously reimagined in varying neon shades. Critics of Warhol attacked his art as regurgitations of familiar imagery, lacking originality, character, or inspiration. Viewers despised Warhol’s artwork for precisely the same reason that people enjoy it in modern society today. He harnessed cultural iconography and warped it into something that pushes the viewer to challenge their preconceived notion of what a cultural symbol truly signifies.

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Human beings are communal creatures. We crave to be understood and connected with others, to have the chance of sharing our story with someone who wants to listen. This can be a daunting task, however, and it is sometimes difficult to connect when words fail to express our voice. Art can exist as a mediator for our stories; it can be a conduit for showing instead of telling one's vulnerabilities and feelings. 

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In the age of social media, everyone has the ability to create visual art if they have access to a smartphone. Apple Inc. has made the advancement of their camera technology the priority, attracting photographers and film directors to experiment with the iPhone camera’s capabilities instead of opting for the usual expensive DSLR equipment. In this vein, the iPhone camera breaks down the barrier of cost and access to materials for the process of creating high-quality visual art. As a mentor once told me, “It isn’t what you have; It’s how you use it.

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The novels assigned to students in American English classes throughout grade school are often labeled “classics” such as “Of Mice and Men,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Pride and Prejudice,” etc. Rarely do students understand the essence of the story they are assigned, nor do they care enough to venture into anything other than the Sparknotes summary. I know this because I was one of those students, feigning apathy in the face of yet another classic slammed down on our desks. 

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