Dear Gauchos,

I am so happy and honored to be your Artsweek Editor for the 2014-2015 year. I pledge to fill up these Thursday pages with clever stories on local bands and events, MCC performances, Hub shows and the occasional red carpet event downtown.
We’ve been building up a solid team here at Artsweek, and I’m positive it will grow even bigger this upcoming year. After all, we’ve got so much to cover! Lorde’s coming to SB Bowl in October, Arcade Fire will be here in August and UCSB Arts & Lectures is already cooking up another season of talks, gigs and mind-blowing performances. Cross our fingers that Andrew Bird comes back, yeah?

For now, have a splendid summer. Run in sprinklers, make lemonade, listen to old records and celebrate long sunny days until school starts. When fall comes, I can’t wait for Artsweek to be your Thursday lecture hall reading material once again.


Audrey Bachelder
Asst. Artsweek Editor
2013 – 2014


What’s the most important thing you learned about art in the last four years?

My time at UCSB has taught me that art is not just a skill or a prestigious institution, but a way of life. It’s about trial and error, experimentation and creative imagination. Artistic inspiration stems from tears, love, sweat, laughter and frustration, and keeps us moving forward even when we’re falling. I’ve learned that art can incite social change and foster new ways of thinking and being in the world. What class doesn’t teach you is how to find your creative drive, which comes from within and is cultivated from daily practice and research. My classes have taught me to always be analytical, with an attitude that is both open-minded and inquisitive. There is something new to be discovered in the art world every day, and I hope to find further education that compares to my incredible classes in the UCSB Art Department. I have learned so much in what felt like such a fast four years and will miss UCSB dearly. It’s a place that truly feels like home.

What are you doing next?

After graduating with a BA in English and Art, I will be doing some traveling in the Caribbean this summer. When I return I hope to find a job in marketing and design where both my writing and artistic skills can be utilized. I will be documenting my travels and continuing my creative process as I embark on new beginnings, and I hope to have a ton of fun along the way.

Megan Fisher
Staff Writer
2012 – 2013


What’s the most important thing you learned about art in the last four years?

The writing that I’m most proud of has come when I let myself be as vulnerable and open as possible. Turning off the inner critic is hard to do, but it’s critical for producing a finished product that is rewarding and therapeutic.

What are you doing next?

I will be pursuing work in the copy editing field in Los Angeles.

Tina Petrosian
Staff Writer, Copy Chief
2011 – 2014


What’s the most important thing you learned about art in the last four years, and what are you doing next?

A friend once said, “The purest art form is story-telling. The rest are derivatives.”
As a species, we are obsessed with story-telling. Think of newspapers, history textbooks, preachers, love songs, lectures, Twitter … the best way to mitigate the sudden blow of the Monday blues is to talk about what happened over the weekend. Stories are all around us.

My dad has told me the same stories about a hundred times each but they never get old. Sometimes it’s not so much about the stories but about the way they’re told. My dad wouldn’t consider himself an artist and in his defense, he’s not the greatest doodler to have walked the earth. But he is an artist of telling stories, and of captivating his often small but attentive audience. And that’s all you need, isn’t it? A giver and a receiver, with some stories in between.

I’ve learned a lot at this wonderful institution where people get together just to share their thoughts and camaraderie. I went in as a freshman-going-on-concert pianist, and came out an ethnomusicologist-in-training. I learned how to play the sitar and the guitar and picked up some jazz along the way. Heck, I even gave spoken word a go-around. And in each artistic endeavor I encountered, I came face to face with the same conundrum: What are you trying to say? What story is waiting to be unraveled in the tapestry of the imagination, be it through words, guitar chords or Schubert?

There are many things I could have said to you about what I’ve learned about art in these past four years. But as I bid a formal farewell to one of my favorite sanctuaries for stories, this is what has come to me: The learning never stops. There are always more stories to be told and more ways to tell them. And there will always be the stories that are so good, we have to keep telling them. What matters most is to have sincerity and an unapologetic gusto for saying it the right way. You have to figure out what the right way is for yourself. No one will tell you which stories are worth telling and no one will force you to tell them. But if you have something to say, say it, even if your audience is inanimate or small.

Sometimes, it feels like there’s nothing left to say because it’s all been said before. In those moments, a change of pace or perspective helps to remedy the uninspired psyche. And as such, it is time for a change of scenery for me. Upon graduation, I will be taking a road trip across the western United States. This journey was inspired by the book Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck — a very enjoyable read by an impeccable storyteller. I am not sure where this new chapter of my life is headed yet, but I’ve always been one for adventure stories anyway.

Sio Tepper
Staff Writer
2012 – 2014


What have you been up to since graduating?

After graduation I worked a stable job in Santa Barbara and continued writing on a personal blog. Finally, I realized I wasn’t going to get anywhere with my writing by selling Cisco and I applied for an Editorial Fellowship at BuzzFeed. I packed up, moved to Los Angeles and started making lists. When I wasn’t offered a position at the end of the program, I was crushed. I thought I had totally failed at pursuing my dreams and would never be hired anywhere as a writer. Thankfully, I was wrong. Now I write for Guff, as well as my website, and I am loving it. Instead of lists, I write opinion pieces, which is such a better fit for my style and for me.

Do you have any advice for the artsy folk of the class of 2014?

As cliché as this sounds, go out there and take risks. I wouldn’t have the chance to get paid to do what I love every day if I didn’t take some big risks along the way. Most importantly, stay true to your art and yourself. Sure, you’ll have to do some work you aren’t exactly proud of — that part of life will unfortunately never change — but if you’re mainly compromising your artistic style in order to fit some mold, you’re not going to be happy or fulfilled. Ask for what you want and don’t be afraid to fight for it.

Madison Medeiros
Artsweek Editor: 2011 – 2012


What have you been up to since graduating?

Since graduating, I worked for a law firm in the glamorous role of I.T. supervisor. After about one day of that, I decided that was enough and applied to MFA programs in fiction writing. Columbia University accepted me, and I finished coursework this May. I’ve also been working as a freelance journalist and contributor to, among others, Interview, SCENE and The Creators Project. After graduation — well, kind of, still have to do that thesis — I moved to Idaho where I’m working to finish a novel and on a story for n+1. I continue to freelance, punctuated by long bike rides and stretches of staring out of windows wistfully.
Do you have any advice for the class of 2014?

For the class of 2014: If you are really, truly serious about making art (and why shouldn’t you be?), you need to find a job that will allow you to do that. That means waiting tables, working reception, tending bar. Anything but working at a coffee shop; everyone at coffee shops hates their lives. If you feel you can do it (make art professionally), give yourself at least half a decade. Preferably the full decade. A dirty little secret is that nobody gives a damn what you do before you turn 30 … except your parents, probably. Failing finding a job, you can do what Gordon Lish and Richard Ford suggested on multiple occasions: “Find a rich woman and live off of her.” I’m paraphrasing, and obviously just adapt “woman” to whatever gender you want, but you get the point. Don’t be shy about clawing and scratching your way into making art. Tao Lin stole batteries for a living. There are writers you admire who were escorts or drug dealers. F. Scott Fitzgerald was permanently broke. You get the idea. The most important advice I can give is, keep going. Nobody is going to make you make art. You have to do it yourself, and do it a lot, because it’s really hard and you’re going to suck at it for at least the first year. Keep going. Don’t listen when they tell you “no.” They’re probably right today, but who knows? In a few years, they could look like real assholes.

Michael Hafford
Artsweek Editor: 2010 – 2011


Parting Words Part 1 HERE.

A version of this story appeared on page 12 of Thursday, June 5, 2014′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.