Artist Meijin Patil Talks about Creativity


Meijin Patil, a sophomore at Wakefield, won the Virginia State PTA Reflections contest for High School Photography!

This year’s theme was “I Matter Because…” and the photo of her brother Bodhi (who graduated last year) truly captured the essence of the theme.  Her photo, “I Matter Because I Embrace the Future” will represent Virginia at the National PTA Reflections level.

The National Winner is announced on May 1st.  This is the first time that Wakefield (and Arlington) has had a Virginia State PTA winner in as long as Ms. Davidson has been here (and she’s been here 28 years).

We asked Meijin the following questions about being an artist:

When did you first “feel” like an artist? Why then?

I first felt like an artist when I was really young because, to me, being an artist didn’t mean you had to be good at art. It just meant you had to have fun creating it. When I was younger I used to love to paint and draw (even though I wasn’t very good at it) and just expressing myself, no matter what it was that I was making, made me feel like an artist.

What do you do when you don’t have ideas?

I never really go out and take photos with a strict plan or firm idea of what I’m doing. I just bring my camera with me, to wherever I was going to go/ activity I was doing that day. I keep the assignment/ theme of the project in mind but other than that, nothing I do is planned out. Once I have my photos, then I have to start thinking of ways to edit and enhance them. If I don’t have any ideas on what to do I just wait a few days and then start playing around with the image in photoshop.

How do you stay creative…what inspires you to create?

I try to stay creative by having fun. If I’m not feeling an assignment, I notice that my photos aren’t as good as they could have been, so I try to enjoy the process of shooting them. The more I just bring my camera with me, when I go somewhere (outside of my neighborhood), the more inspired I get. I find it fun to people watch, especially in unfamiliar places, because people do interesting things. I find that “normal” things can become unique just with a new perspective.

What Art/Photo classes have you taken at Wakefield and how have they helped?

I’ve taken Photo 1 and Photo 2 so far at Wakefield. These classes have taught me everything I know about photography so far. I didn’t even know I liked photography before I started taking these classes. Ms. Brittain and Ms. Davidson have just made it really fun to learn and not just do the work, but want to do it well and put in the extra effort.

How did you feel when your photo won the Regional PTA Reflections Outstanding Interpretation and then the Virginia State Award? Did you think you had a good chance of winning? Why or why not?

I was actually very surprised when it first won the regional award. It’s not that I didn’t think it was a good photo, I just never thought that MY photo would be the one that would win. After it won the regional PTA I started having more confidence in myself so I was even more excited when I heard it won states. Originally, the thought of winning had never crossed my mind because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself and my work, but now I think that with the amount of effort I put into it I had a good chance of winning.