“Energy Doll” Illustration by Brandi Licato ’24
Men and Women Standing Proud
By Luka Pierre-Louis ’22
The Beauty in Imperfection
Katelin Lopez ’25
I have always strived for perfection. That’s what the goal was to my mind… perfection. Recently, I’ve realized that this goal is irrational, quite impossible, and just a waste of my time. Now don’t get me wrong, I will probably always be a little bit of a perfectionist, because it’s just been a part of me for so long that it will be hard to kick that mindset. Also, the perfectionist mindset has gotten me to achieve incredible things such as getting good grades and being a pretty decent artist. But this mindset has a dark side. I often only see my negative qualities, and imperfections. For example I am so nit-picky when it comes to my art, my grades, and organization. I can’t get any joy out of a 99 on a test; I just feel inadequate, and think “what’s so wrong with me that I couldn’t get a perfect score?”
I often get caught up on little imperfections and never really see any beauty in them. However, art has begun to show me how to embrace my mistakes. I owe a lot of that to my twin brother. He is an artist as well, with a very different style compared to mine, but I’m still able to implement some of the ways he goes about his art process into my own. His art can be interpreted in many ways, whereas with mine it’s very clear what’s going on. In some cases, yes, that’s good, but it often gives my work a restrictive feeling. About two months ago, my brother painted a man with strokes of variations of gray and splatters of red, blue, and yellow behind him. He wore a white shirt with a criss cross pattern, and what looked like a straw hat with the same pattern. The man almost pops out of the page since he’s outlined in this stark black and in some areas it would bleed into a dark gray, while his skin is all white except for splashes of rosy pink on his cheeks. His eyes are looking to the side as if he’s worried something is going to happen, his nose is a little crooked, and his mouth is not quite a smile or a frown. The background is chaotic but simple. The color of his rosy cheeks makes me feel like the man is about to burst from the anxiety he’s trying to contain. Meanwhile, my older brother just saw a man with a messy background.
My twin works a lot with ink, so it’s easy to make mistakes, but he just rolls with them and makes them seem purposeful. With me if the eye is wonky, even by a little bit, there is the urge to want to erase both of the eyes and try over and over again until they look right. Sometimes it feels as if the painting is never truly done, because even days after it’s “finished,” I still go back and fix some mistakes. Some of my favorite pieces of his art have “mistakes,” like the painting of the farmer. He doesn’t think too much about his next stroke and just goes with wherever the ink takes him. With my art, I have an entire plan. First, I create a bunch of little thumbnails just to get ideas down. Then, I sketch my idea on a larger scale. Once that is done I have to transfer it onto the canvas, and then I put an underpainting. Finally after all of that the actual painting can begin. My process is very time consuming. My twin just gets an idea, searches for a reference photo, looks at it twice, sketches, and starts painting. However, with ink he just goes straight into it. He’s literally going with the flow. That’s what makes his art so wonderful and fun to look at. When you look at his work you can always find something you didn’t see before. I want to “go with the flow” in my own art, but also in my life.
Through my brother’s art I’m able to find the beauty of imperfections in myself, the world, and my work. Before, I hated looking at my mistakes because I would just dwell on them or want to start a drawing all over again. Now I have a different perspective on what it means for something to be beautiful. It’s those wrinkles around someone’s eyes when they smile, the discoloration around the eyes, the bags under someone’s eyes, and the scars on a person’s face that makes someone beautiful. Art has allowed me to accept those imperfections within myself and my art.