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This piece is a lithographic print, done using the mezzotint technique in which you start with black and then take out the highlights with a razor. When I first started college, I had never taken an art class before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Up until that point, I had thought of myself as a weirdo, an outsider, somebody who doesn’t fit in with normal people. I was different from other kids. I was an immigrant from Russia with severe anxiety and depression. I didn’t have many friends growing up, and I was convinced I would be forever on my own. However, as I stepped into that classroom, for the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged. It was in that class that I met Lorena, my professor, advisor, and a woman who accepted me for who I am. One day, she let me borrow a preserved cicada that she had in her office to use as a reference for a drawing. It was a simple gesture for her, but for me, it meant a lot more than that. Cicadas are a symbol of change and growth. When they molt, they don’t become something entirely new like a butterfly, they simply grow wings and leave their childhood bodies behind. That semester, I left my home, cut my hair, and finally got to spread my wings.

lithographic print


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