If you’ve ever attended school, you probably know that there exists a lot of sub-communities within the school community. One of the biggest sub-communities within Stephens College are the Ten Ideals. On Stephens’ website, this is the best explanation about the Ten Ideals and their significance on the student body.


“Inherent in the culture of Stephens College is the tradition of the Ten Ideals, which originated in 1921 and represent the core values that enrich and inspire our lives. Each year, 10 students are selected as personifications of individual ideals.


Respect for our own dignity and the dignity of others, embodied in a sense of social justice

Courage and persistence

Independence, autonomy and self-sufficiency

Support for others through the willingness to take and give criticism, acceptance and love

Sensitivity to the uniqueness and fragility of the natural world of which we are part

Responsibility for the consequences of our choices

Belief in our changing selves and in our right to change

Creativity in the spiritual and aesthetic dimensions of life

Intelligence that is informed and cultivated, critical yet tolerant

Leadership which empowers others”


Not only does each student try to emulate these ten ideals, but these ten ideals somewhat exist in real life. Every single year, ten seniors are secretly chosen, one to represent each ideal. I am unsure of how the very first ten are chosen – perhaps by the president at the time – but each year the previous ten choose the next ten. The purpose of this was to boost morale and recognize students and staff that are exemplary. It is tradition that the Ten Ideals choose 10 students and staff members that embody each ideal and then present their choosings in a creative way. Normally, they hang up a banner in a part of campus that gets a lot of foot traffic and the banners depict imagery related to the ideal and the names of the ten that are chosen. In addition, there are usually small gifts that those who are recognized get to keep forever. At the end of the year at the honors convocation ceremony, the Ten Ideals finally reveal themselves.


For one of my introductory graphic design classes, we had been studying the different eras of art like post-modernism, art nouveau, art deco, the digital age, etc. We were to create 2 posters, 2 note cards, and 2 sliders for 2 of the Ten Ideals and taking inspiration from 2 different eras of art. The irony of all of this was, in spring of 2016, I was chosen by that year’s current Ten to be one of the Ten Ideals next year. I was chosen to represent Belief and while I was taking this class, I was representing Belief. Obviously, I didn’t want to choose Belief, so I chose two other Ideals that I heavily identified with as well. I decided upon Creativity and Sensitivity. I feel that my work for the Creativity poster, slider, and notecard is stronger than for Sensitivity, which is why I have chosen only to showcase those.


For my inspiration, I decided upon the Digital Age. The quote “Creativity in the spiritual and aesthetic dimensions of life”, immediately made me think of outer space. To showcase my creativity for Creativity, I came up with the idea of pixel art and illustrating an outer space scene with planets and stars. I think there probably was an easier way to make objects appear pixelated, but I painstakingly built all the planets using little squares and used photos for reference. I referred to video games to illustrate some 8-bit stars and decided to add in a telescope as well.