Artist of the Issue: Maya Shimron

Devangi Rathi and Lauren Wu

Maya Shimron, a senior at Lexington High School, is an aspiring filmmaker who explores their queer identity through a diverse range of art mediums. 

In addition to working on individual projects, such as their Scholastic National Silver Medal winning screenplay “Lemon Bars,” Shimron serves as Editor-in-Chief of the LHS Yearbook. 

“When I actually started making my own art, I did mostly photography for the yearbook, and then I did more photography on my own,” Shimron said. “And now I’ve settled on film and screenwriting.”

For Shimron, pursuing art came from a combination of curiosity and early interest in the LHS yearbook. 

“I have a tendency of looking at things and being like, ‘ooh, that’s cool, I want to do that’. Photography was one of those things where I imagined myself being a photographer, and the opportunity coincided,” Shimron said. “Yearbook was the foundation that started things, but a lot of my skills I developed just from personal experiences and scheduling photoshoots and stuff like that.”

Shimron cites their queer identity as a major inspiration for a lot of their work. 

“My goal is to create forms of art that represent my voice and the non-binary experience that is currently not represented,” Shimron said.

As both an activist and artist, Shimron strives to evoke deep emotions from their audience.

“There are times that I want people to feel kind of uncomfortable because it’s similar to a lot of the stuff we’ve been talking about in school, with uncomfortable conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. I feel like a lot of times, queer people are left out of that conversation,” Shimron said. 

Shimron named Wes Anderson as one of their favorite filmmakers because of his unique writing style. Although Shimron is inspired by Anderson’s work, they noted a caveat. 

“A lot of his leads are always white men, unless it’s animated, like Fantastic Mr. Fox, and he doesn’t do a lot of stuff in terms of representation. So I look up to his storytelling style, but I’d want to be better than that part of it,” Shimron said.

Consistent with their background in various mediums, Shimron expressed interest in exploring  new film genres in the future. 

“Since film is my focus, [I’m interested in] different types of film, like dabbling in experimental, making feature films, or even writing musicals. Theater is very interesting, and while I’m not too well-versed in it, writing for theater is different from writing for the screen, and trying that out might be really fun,” Shimron said.

Their advice for beginning artists includes taking art classes at LHS and talking to teachers about independent studies at LHS, which are opportunities many students are unaware of. Above all, Shimron advises to get started.

“The first thing you make probably is not going to be the best thing you’ll make, but you have to start somewhere, and filming something bad is what it takes to look at it and go, ‘That’s bad, but this is what I need to do to make it better,’ ” Shimron said.