On the Cover

By Christina Marie, age 17, Louisiana
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Editor's note: We've decided to do something a little different for our cover this month, and plan to do it again from time to time. Sweet Designs Magazine wants to encourage young artists, designers, and crafters (as well as writers and poets, of course) to submit their work for publication. As we receive work from more artists and crafts people, new sections will be added to the magazine. This month I am pleased to feature Christina, longtime SDM contributor. She has written on various subjects, in recent issues (including this one) introducing our readers to some of her favorite photographers who post their work on I approached her and asked if I could likewise feature her work as well as her thoughts about photography.

I am a fan of words. Quotes, if left up to me, would be everywhere - all over the walls, the sidewalks, the windows, the sky. Whether I write them or read them, I can never get enough. Maybe it's the writer in me. Maybe it's the artist in me. Whatever it is, it's in me and I'm fine with it.

I am almost the same way with photography. I feel it has that same beauty, that same reality mixed with fantasy, to bring out the best and the worst in everyone. By 'best' and 'worst', of course, I speak entirely of emotions. You can't tell me you've never looked at a picture or read a story once and haven't felt the urge to cry. To some people, it's inevitable. To others, I suppose, that urge may not exist, and I don't know if I envy or pity them.

faerie of the fey & kimberly ann

In my own work, I'm growing. I am realizing more and more of what I want to accomplish. I want to aim for confusion. I like to see the honesty in things, sure, such as a leaf or a tree, but I enjoy creating something that makes people question. Don't get me wrong - they don't have to be questioning themselves, just a simple 'what is that?', 'why is that there?', or 'what's he or she doing?' would suit me just fine. I like to make people think, and I like to be made to think myself.

I started to get serious with photography nearly a year ago, although I've long been a fan of it. I had no equipment when I began, and to be honest, I didn't want to take photos as anything more than a hobby. It began slowly, more of a cathartic thing, while I was more into journalism. It was only until I looked more into the field that I realized I could be more artistic with a camera than with a pen for a newspaper or magazine, and the only thing I want with my writing is to produce fiction. I decided against journalism as a career then, and for a while I had no idea where to go. It wasn't until I got my second camera (more professional, but still just an advanced point-and-shoot) that I really began to see what I could do.

cotton - windsome

I like the dark side of life. Some of my stuff doesn't reflect that and some does, and I don't intend on categorizing my work in any way. I don't want to be a 'fine art photographer' or a 'portrait photographer'. I really don't want any word in front of the title 'photographer' at all. I'm mixed up with so many different things, I can't label myself, much less the images I produce.

Although everyone is influenced and inspired, there is nothing better than using the word 'original' in the most honest way.

With that, I connect the picture to the feel when naming my work. It's customary for me. I base everything in my life on feeling. If it doesn't feel right, it doesn't happen. If it feels a little off, it's rearranged. If the title 'salem adie' makes no sense but represents the photo perfectly, that's what it will be named. My images are titled by whatever word seems to reflect them, and most of the time this is decided with spelling instead of meaning. I create my own words most of the time, since letters, to me, feel certain ways. For example, I can't use a V or an R without connecting them to a 'hard' feeling, or an I or E without connecting them to a 'soft' one. Eh, it's generally hard to explain, but my second technique consists of just waiting. If it's right, it'll come to me.

delgato. & sarah 002

I still don't know what I want to do in life.

I will be a photographer, I simply just don't know how. Eventually I will travel. Until I get regulated in my income this may not happen though. Working for magazines or other places of the kind may be my first choice, but everyone starts out somewhere. I just know that wherever I may end up, I will find a way to incorporate my style into my work with a camera in my hands. That's all I'm really sure of, to be honest, that a camera will be in my hands.

Very soon I will be sending in my application to attend Academy of Arts University, provided I receive enough aid. I am currently the photographer for my school's drama department. I have done various nonprofit photo shoots with anyone who is willing to put up with me, and slowly I'm heading in the direction of my soon-to-be new camera, this beauty right here:

Right now I'm focused on getting my name out there and, well, I can only ask that you wish me luck. :)

Cover photo: salem adie - windsome, by Christina Marie
Models: Kimberly Ann, Sarah, and Melissa

You can find larger versions of these and my other work at:

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
The Magazine You Can Write For
The Voice of a New Generation


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