On September 13th, 2018, PTAC was introduced to Deborah Magdalena of the YoungArts Foundation. She discussed the competition, it’s application process and told us all what it can do for you if you win. Here are the reflections of three current PTAC members, Amelia, Ericka, and Rebecca, on our meeting with Deborah.
The idea of turning art into a career was impossible. I’ve been taught to have practical goals that will bring me a stable life. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist, but hearing about Young Arts and the support they give you changed all of that. Deborah Magdalena is a person that you can’t turn away from. When she speaks you listen, and she listens to you too. She helped me realized that there is something I truly do love doing. She went around the room breaking everyone’s shell and making us feel like true artists. She motivates you to work for what you believe in and she motivated me to apply for YoungArts. The day I got home I zipped through my YoungArts application, I don’t think there is anything I have ever wanted as much. I have since decided to continue to create and build my artwork and wait to apply for the competition until next year, since I’m only a sophomore, but I will be applying.
One word to describe the YoungArts Foundation presentation was ‘engaging’, though even that feels like a serious understatement. Deborah Magdalena, the fantastically animated speaker, managed to engage everyone in the room, even inspiring those like myself who would’ve never thought to enter a nationwide competition. The broadness of the YoungArts competition was — and still is — intimidating at times, but the chance to exhibit my works to professionals and potentially become a finalist subdues any second thoughts. There is always that creeping thought that my work may not be good enough, written thoughtfully enough for others to understand, but I always fall back on Deborah's words of inspiration. If you write from the heart, and you write from your truth, you will always create something amazing. Ever since that day, I’ve been working hard on all of my submissions, hoping one may stick out amongst the pile and convey my passion and dedication for art.
Unsure of my ability to create a good enough body of work that’ll stand a chance at winning the YoungArts competition, Deborah Magdalena reassured me in my artistic capabilities as she gave an inspiring speech to me and my fellow PTAC members. Being as I come from a low-income household, I often feel as though I don’t have the necessary tools, however, I learned that the only tool I would ever need in creating a masterpiece is a creative mind, determination, and ambition. That there is nothing that can get in the way of my passion besides my own insecurity. That I shouldn’t give up, but instead give my work-- my passion-- a fighting chance.