Image: Nassim Ashford
Mercer Artist: Ashlyn Rebel
February 14, 2018
As an artist, Ashlyn Rebel has two loves—one that she has always known and one that she discovered last summer.
Rebel’s first love is writing, dating back to elementary school.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been not coming up with ideas,” she said.
Rebel is an assistant editor for The Dulcimer and a creative writing major. She reads, edits and writes often in her spare time.
She enjoys writing stories that have happened to her or that could happen, she said. “Writing is fiction that blurs the line between nonfiction.”
Through this kind of storytelling, Rebel seeks to “let humanity speak for itself,” she said.
She derives comfort from putting pen to paper and sharing her thoughts with others.
“I like having that knowledge that if there’s something that I want to remember forever, that I want other people to remember forever, I could put it down and as soon as somebody else reads it, it can’t die. Someone will have it outside of myself,” she said.
For Rebel, everything from poetry to a short story based on a memorable trip with her friends is fair game.
As someone who has moved homes often before coming to college, Rebel is no stranger to change and embraces it within her own life.
Last summer, she embraced an interest that was first introduced to her in childhood: music.
“I learned piano when I was like six or so, and I took lessons for a couple of years and I hated it so much,” she said. “I would not practice at all until 15 minutes before the instructor came and then I would practice for 15 minutes because my mom was standing there,” she said with a laugh.
When a friend introduced her to the Japanese manga series “Your Lie in April,” which largely revolves around music, Rebel was inspired to take up piano again as well as the violin.
Rebel now sees music as “an auditory form of writing where there’s rules that you kind of follow and guidelines that are there like a map for your heart,” she said.
Rebel said music and writing are different for her because while writing allows her to get thoughts and ideas out, music allows her to speak a new language.
“With music, when there’s a piece I’ve not ever paid attention to, and then when I actually start listening to it, when I’m playing it, there have been times where I’ve gotten emotional, like this is something that I’ve just made and it’s different parts and they all come together and I have a part in this song now,” Rebel said.
“I just love that language and feel very connected to it,” she said.