Priyanka Aiyer, SAS senior is working on creating various sorts of art (poems, books, journals, films, etc.) as she believes that art is more important in these times than ever before, and especially art that celebrates all the ugly and beautiful experiences of living and healing. She says she wants to do her best to create that sort of art, or at least the sort that feels the truest to her.
She goes by the pen name Topaz Winters and has a worldwide audience made up of 2 million unique hits and about 30,000 followers on her blog as well as her books read by tens of thousands. Her lit journal has hundreds of subscribers and her work in general has been profiled, featured in, and commended by nearly 100 organizations.
At this point in her project, she has come out with three books and one full-length, poems for the sound of the sky before thunder from Math Paper Press. She’s also working with her team to produce Issue IV: Grazioso of Half Mystic Journal, which is the literary journal where she serves as founder, creative director, and editor-in-chief. Half Mystic recently expanded into a small publishing house as well, so Priyanka and her team are very excited to release their first book, Knock by Melissa Atkinson Mercer, this February.
With such a huge project, she hit a few roadblocks along the way. She says it has been really tough to find time to work on various projects between school. Priyanka has had to get really creative with her time management such as getting on early-morning Skype calls or travelling during the school year. She also finds it very difficult to be taken seriously as a young woman artist, especially in Singapore where STEM is far more favoured than the arts.
Priyanka wants to continue her project for a long time in the future. She hopes to create many more books, films, collaborations, speaking, and editing. Of course, she’s going to keep up with her blog and editing as well as directing Half Mystic. She’s not worried about the future, she says “it has a funny way of bringing with it more wonders than I’d ever know to hope for.”