Nathan Pesina Spotlight

What are you doing currently?
I’m currently living in Los Angeles – I finished my MFA in Screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin last year. I’m a freelance copywriter and occasional reader at AMC Networks.
What position, if any, did you hold in eleven40seven?
I was both an editor for one semester and Editor-in-Chief for two.
What was your favorite part about being on staff?
My favorite part of being on staff was working with creative, passionate people who were committed to delivering a quality product to the student body. The duties of being an editor or designer extended far beyond the class time that was allotted for meetings. Anyone and everyone who was on staff at the same times as me deserves an endless amount of recognition for the time and effort they put into the journal.
What knowledge and skills did you learn from being on staff that help you now?
Accountability and compromise. Regarding compromise…Art is subjective and as a staff you have to work through various points of view and beliefs to select the artwork that you can all agree best represents TCU’s creative community. For accountability, I learned that no matter what conflicts or problems arise in putting the journal together that we were obligated to deliver a quality product to the student body and especially to anyone who submitted to the journal. It’s hard to put yourself out there as an artist and we didn’t want to repay that leap with subpar work. And I can happily say that I don’t believe we ever did.
What made you want to join and how did you hear about the magazine?
I knew I wanted to be apart of the journal when I went to the release party in spring of 2010 (I’m now having a crisis that that was seven years ago). It was so cool to see TCU’s creative community represented in such a professional way. We don’t typically think of creativity and professionalism as going together, but we should! It’s incredibly rewarding for anyone who participates in the creative process and a nice thing to show your parents who question just what the hell you’re doing with your time in college. I was pushed into joining by someone who I still regard as the gold standard Editor-in-Chief, Stephanie Scott, and I still thank her for it today.
What does “art” mean to you?
My answer now is probably a lot more nebulous than it was during my editor tenure. I don’t think there’s a way for me to prescribe what it is for anyone else, but for me, it’s just creating something that you think will enrich the lives of others.
Are you still creating art? If so, what are you working on?
I’m an aspiring screenwriter so I’m generally always working on a script (even if I’m working on it slowly). I’m also a filmmaker so I work on short videos with my friends that are generally more comedic. Don’t Google them.
What was the inspiration behind the art you submitted to the magazine?
Jesus Christ. I’m not being facetious (well, not entirely), I wrote a short story about a man who works in Heaven as an interviewer who decides whether or not a newly dead person makes it into eternal paradise. Because I was a college student pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts, I was asking a lot of questions about religion at the time and wanted to talk about them in a way I thought was funny. I think it worked out okay.