This year’s personal statement is a little sappy. But I think it’s pretty accurate. I really do use art as something to hide behind. But it sure is hard to communicate that on paper to a table of strangers. 

I was thinking about that the other day, actually. I need to get some more hobbies. I know I have other interests apart from art, but I have spent like no time developing them lately. I don’t even remember what they are, honestly. Maybe I’ll take up horticulture or something. 

Anyway, here’s my personal statement.

As a child I developed a strong liking for the color orange, and I was very vocal about it. All of my classmates knew about it, and thus it became part of my identity. I was the “orange girl,” the girl who liked orange; this is how people recognized me. I hid behind this label, because it gave people a reason to approach me. ”So, you like orange,” was an excellent conversation starter in fifth grade. Over time my love for orange became less about the color itself and more about how it had impacted my social life. I was a chameleon turned orange to meet the people around me. This is what art and design have always been to me: colors to turn into, the means to becoming a chameleon.

Being labeled as an artist provides a unique access to the world. The camera, the paintbrush, the pen—these are the keys to being accepted into any environment. They make me invisible. They turn me into a chameleon, and I love this. But through these mediums, my first and fundamental job is to observe. I am set neutral and in favor of the ones I am working for—it sounds like a contradiction. I am apart but accepted, thanks to my title Artist. And through this, I get to meet new people. I get to connect with others whom I would never otherwise meet and spend time in their shoes and work with them to establish a visual identity that conveys who they really are. It’s such a privilege, and it’s such an incredible way to get to know people on a deeper level. Design is a color changer. Design is also a bridge.

The most noble purpose of art and design is to serve and connect with others. To use design as an admittance, a bridge: this is what I want to do with my life, and this is why I am studying to be a graphic designer and art educator. I want to connect with people and organizations across the world and reflect the essence of their identities in all of their visual media. I believe that art helps us figure out who we really are, and it is my dream to work behind the scenes as a designer or art teacher, to help others discover themselves.

I’m still the same girl from fifth grade. As the day comes to an end and the colors of camouflage fade, my own colors are revealed, and orange is still there. But now there are more colors; I’m developing my own style. And via art and design, I hope to empower others to do the same.


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