With a mother who is a professional painter, Ian Long grew up surrounded by art. Gallery showings, creative workshops, and simply watching their mother work in her studio were a consistent part of Long’s childhood. It was not long before they discovered the wonders of illustration. They love that this medium allows them to explore every topic possible and has a wide variety of applications. Long’s current focus is editorial illustration because through it, they can combine their passion for journalism and art.

Long studies animation and illustration at Montclair State University. After graduating in spring 2022, they hope to bring joy and inspiration to others through their work. Long would like to support journalists with editorial illustration, which can help bring one’s message to life and encourage readers to engage in the written material.

This fall, Long will be the production manager for The Montclarion, the school’s student-run newspaper. Previously, Long served as the design intern and illustrator, and their work is visible on the website. Long thoroughly enjoys collaborating and expressed an admiration for the staff.

“Through their work, these student journalists highlight the strengths and weaknesses of our campus community, whether it be the dining hall food or the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Long said. “I’m ecstatic to be integrated into the staff and continue contributing to this staple of our community.”  

In practicing allyship, Long has attended anti-racism protests, the most recent being a #StopAsianHate rally and vigil in March. They also read books by authors of color and on the topic of race relations. Long donates money to organizations and individuals in need who are impacted by racism.

Long recalls an incident during the 2016 Presidential campaign in which they confronted a close friend about a racist social media post regarding immigration. They were worried how it would impact the relationship, which eventually dissolved as the person continued to knowingly engage in racism. Long did not regret calling it out, though, because that action opened conversations and new relationships with others through their desire to challenge racist rhetoric. While the separation from the friend was difficult, Long knew that it was for the better because they refuse to be complicit in racism within their relationships.

“Practicing anti-racism is constant work and is more than solely a mindset. Anti-racism must be founded on taking action and refusing to be a bystander when racism is shown, whether intentional or not. Rather than simply being an observer of anti-racist efforts, I would like to get involved and be a part of a community that has the same wish as me, which is to understand the roots of racism and begin dismantling the systems that contribute to it.”

If they could have one wish granted, Long would wish to avoid cognitive decline in older age so they could continue to engage in activities that bring them joy and fulfillment.

Long’s global wish would be for an effective solution to climate change. They love spending time outside, and the extreme weather conditions of the past decade leaves them fearful of that enjoyment quickly disappearing. Additionally, addressing the climate crisis is linked to confronting how racism and other forms of discrimination are part of environmental policy and regulation.

In addition to drawing and creating, Long enjoys reading, taking walks, listening to comedy podcasts, and browsing antique shops. The number one item on their bucket list right now is to get a tattoo.