Art as Sanctuary

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Each morning when I entered my preschool classroom, I would cling to my mother, peering out from behind her legs where I would try to make myself invisible. It was only when guided to the children’s table and given some crayons and paper that I could detach myself. Sitting and starting to color, slowly, I would begin to feel comfortable. By the end of the day, I would be like every other kid, laughing and playing with my friends. All of my previous anxiety had evaporated.

At my preschool’s open house I found, curiously, a large display that was unique to my art alone. They told me I had so many creations in comparison to my classmates that they made a separate section in order to showcase them all. I remember feeling embarrassed, but rather proud, too.

Art has always been an extension of my mind in which I can meditate. A sanctuary. Even now, though I’m no longer quite as shy, sketching and hearing the gentle scratch of graphite against paper soothes me. Some teachers scolded me for the doodles that covered my assignments, but my pencil moved on, creating swirls that blended into eyes that flowed out into the sky. Art is essential to my being.

However, art is not what defines me. Among other things, I love to read. To write. To...

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