Finding confidence through artistic discovery

Emily Pavlik, co-editor-in-chief

My world began as a secret, a place of pure imagination. It is painted bright and my quirks shine atop it all. Here, I have the ability to create whatever I imagine, and I have the freedom to invent my own world. And once I revealed my art, both in pictures and in words, I discovered a part of myself I’d never seen before. 

I  find that artistic expression has defined a special place in my heart and has unlocked a new side of my identity. 

Identity is something unique to everyone. And for me, when I picked up a paint brush and let the colors begin to splatter, I began my journey of expression. I’ve grown fond of splashing extra pieces of my inside world onto the outside, showing people who I really am. Through my new artistic hobbies, I’ve found a new type of confidence.  

After others criticized me at the age of 14 for having a “basic” clothing style, I decided to express myself through my clothes. The criticism I received didn’t change my perspective on my outfits, rather, I was sick of asking myself if these people were right. I decided that I should feel confident and not let criticism get to me. Whether it was just adding an extra barret in my hair, or  wearing more bold, unique colors, I was able to find comfort in how I looked. I found that I was able to express myself and feel confident when I let my “freak flag fly”, just by being myself. 

I’ve been writing creative stories for as long as I remember, whether they were fairy tales, poems, or song lyrics. Recently, I’ve realized that I shouldn’t hide these ideas from others. I find that creating a piece of art of my own is something worth sharing with the world. Through my art, I was able to recognize that my wacky ideas are who I am, and I’m proud of it. I’ve learned that when you’re truly passionate about something, you don’t let other people’s opinions get in your head. 

Sharing these pieces of creativity is a way to show others who I am, and I enjoy letting my authentic self shine artistically. I’ve not only come to a new type of appreciation for my self-expression, but with the amount of positive feedback I receive, others have too. I’ve become a source of inspiration for people when it comes to creativity. That has only given me confirmation that my identity should not depend on others’ opinions because I’ve never doubted my abilities even before sharing them with others. 

With more confidence in expressing my emotions and inner thoughts, I’ve been able to feed my self esteem off my published pieces and continue to expand my imagination.

As an artist, I know it can be hard to not depend on society’s validation. However, what I’ve learned is that although society’s opinions can try to control who you are, you should be your own number one supporter; be the person that enjoys your work the most. 

Don’t be afraid to shine a light on who you really are.