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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Elephant Man Poster

By Jeehyun Kim

The Mirror Staff

“People usually don’t completely understand abstract arts just like how people never completely understood and his deformity.”

NEWS

A Relevant Elephant for the Upcoming Play

FEATURE: Xana Keating, the designer behind the original poster for Van Nuys High School production of The Elephant Man, talks in depth about her experiences as an artist


When Xana Keating took Digital Imaging class with Ms. Miya Kuromiya in her senior year of high school, she did not expect her artwork to be shown and publicized across the entire school just a couple of months into the school year.

Keating is the creator of the original poster for the upcoming play, The Elephant Man.

From the walls of the English building to the doors of math classes, the flyer for The Elephant Man is posted everywhere around the campus.

After taking two years of Digital Imaging class, Ms. Kuromiya, the teacher, noticed the Keating’s unique talents. She asked Keating and a couple of other students to design a poster for The Elephant Man. After showing the potential poster candidates to Mr. Randy Olea, the director, they decided that her design was the one.

Because Keating was not in Actors in Action, she had no knowledge of what play was about. In order to learn more and accurately express the play through her artwork, Keating did her research. She found the play, read it, and watched videos to complete her project.

In her design, Keating wanted to express the Elephant Man’s deformity in an abstract way to symbolize the misinterpretation of Joseph Merrick, the real Elephant Man, throughout his life.

“People usually don’t completely understand abstract art just like people never completely understood him and his deformity,” said Keating.

Coming up with the poster artwork from scratch, she drew her ideas on paper with a pencil as the basic foundation for her design. She then transferred her drawings to Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop in order to complete her work digitally.

“Once I turn into a digital piece, I get creative and innovative,” she said. “I get so many ideas, which is why I love digital imaging.”

Keating regularly engages in artistic activities. She draws, paints, and uses oil pastels. She is also a florist and a crafter. Her favorite art is digital imaging, which was why this project was so meaningful to her.

“I’m so proud of my work because this is the first time it has ever been publicly showcased. I put a lot of effort into them, and I felt so honored to be chosen for the design.”

Keating is looking into community colleges as of now, but she is considering jumping into the art field after graduating from high school.

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