Senior starts First Kiss; art magazine connects students from around the world

Madeline Carpinelli, Feature Editor

Fashion, Photography, Art, Identity and more; Sequoia Senior Alyssa Avila shares about her independent art magazine, First Kiss, and what inspired her to start it.

Filled to the top with colors, First Kiss creates a dreamy and lively aesthetic with art from creators around the world. Along with its stunning visuals, First Kiss includes different articles, interviews, playlists and more. A vital part of Avila’s project is submissions; almost all of First Kiss’ content comes from them. 

“People submit photography, art, playlists, poems, short stories, diary entries, and just a bunch of different stuff,” Avila said. “I really love when I get submissions; I think it’s so fun to look through [them all.]”

Avila’s inspiration for her magazine initially came from social media, as well as being around other artists.

“I started it while I was at a semester art program in Napa called Oxbow. I was around a bunch of artists and I was just really inspired to start something and create a community to share art,” Avila said. “I’d been seeing a lot of magazines on my explore page and on my feed. I didn’t know how to go about joining one so I just decided to start my own.”

Through social media, Avila has been able to expand and gain a following. Not only was she able to get more submissions, but she was also able to find other student magazines and learn from them. 

“After building a community, I got added to this group chat with a bunch of different zines, and we all shared our tips and ideas,” Avila said. 

Unfortunately, running a magazine comes with it’s difficulties. Getting started wasn’t simple for Avila; financing as well as gaining traction presented difficulty. 

“It has been hard to find the money to print it,” Avila said.

Through her magazine, Avila has learned how to use tools such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. She has also been able to make connections with people around the world and find new inspiration for her personal art. 

“I’ve also been exposed to a lot of different art styles, photography styles and editing styles,” Avila said. “It’s inspired me a lot in my own art and my own photography.”

With a third issue coming soon, Avila plans to expand even more, online and in print.

“I want to start doing more photo series on the site,” Avila said. “If people can’t buy the zine, they can go on the website and explore around.”