Student creators, artists use newfound time to improve passions

Creatives across ASU have been doing their best to create content while also balancing school and work

For the past year, students across ASU have been balancing school, part-time jobs, internships and creative work, all while making their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stuck inside, many have taken the time spent in isolation to create music, live stream on Twitch and create other forms of online content.

Zach Caragan Bour is a junior majoring in accounting, minoring in business and pursuing a certificate in entrepreneurship, all of which he hopes will help him break into the music industry as Caragan.

“I started (making music) when I was in high school, and I found a club that helped me learn how to produce music,” Bour said. “As I’ve continued college and released more music, I found that I can tie this professional aspect that comes with accounting into a more, like, developed path to pursuing what I want."

Bour said when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the "time was tough and productive all at once."

“Promoting myself was kind of difficult because everyone was going through such a hard time mentally, but what I really found instead of self-promotion was self-growth," he said. "A lot of time to write, to produce and master what I enjoy doing.”

Other student creators are relying heavily on the internet to provide a platform for their work and online content.

Eli Emmanuel Herrera Carreon, a junior majoring in East Asian studies, has been streaming a variety of games on Twitch since the beginning of this year.

Carreon said he had been wanting to stream on Twitch for a while, but the pandemic finally gave him the opportunity to.

“It started out as a fun thing and it still is a ‘for fun’ thing,” Carreon said. “It’s just the way quarantine has been, things have been shaken up for a lot of different people. I had a little bit of extra time, and that’s what was keeping me from being able to start streaming, so once quarantine hit I decided I should go ahead and stream.”

However, Carreon said balancing school, work and streaming has "been tough."

“I work around 20 hours a week but on top of that I have school, and I’m taking a language as well," Carreon said. "My weeks basically look like school and work until the weekend, which is the time I take for myself or to safely meet people; but because I have to balance all of that, streaming gets a little rough, especially if I don't plan what I’m going to do in advance.”

Amanda Li, a junior majoring in film and minoring in dance, is a dance instructor for KoDE, ASU’s K-Pop dance club, and co-president and instructor for the Cultural Association of Performing Arts, which specializes in Chinese cultural dance. 

READ MORE: Dance clubs at ASU find different ways to keep their community active

Li said dancing "never felt like a chore or extra work in college," but she took a hiatus from dancing after the pandemic struck because of fewer events and opportunities to dance in person. 

In response, Li added a dance minor "so that it still remains a part of my life, even if I cannot teach at the moment or film eventually ends up taking more (of a) priority" since it is her major, she said. 

Li added the dancing minor to strengthen her "conceptual foundation" and to add to her existing physical skills.

"It was a matter of, like, not only figuring out where my priorities lie, but also what event or task did I decide to commit to first" between dance, film and school, Li said. "That's how I balance my passions." 

Reach the reporter at and follow @pokefanrithwik on Twitter. 

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