Belonging can have a different meaning to everybody. It can mean being able to connect with other people who share the same values as you, or finding a community of people who have the same hobby as you.

For me, drawing and art is what gives me that sense of belonging. It makes me feel like I have a place in the world.

I like creating art. Being a small artist makes me feel like I belong in the art community. We share the same aspects and are able to connect with each other. We are able to draw our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. We are able to express our creativity.

I started off doodling in a regular notebook. I saw my sister draw these characters, and I thought I wanted to try drawing too. I found out it was a hobby of mine.

At first, I just doodled some characters. I have to admit, the drawings were pretty bad but I didn’t self-doubt myself simply because I wasn’t “good enough.” I knew if I believed that it was good enough through my eyes, then that’s all I needed. Whether it was just stick figures, if I thought it was good, then it was good.

And I think that’s the beauty of art. Whether someone draws sticker figures or the Mona Lisa, they both come from the heart which creates a powerful emotional connection to the artist and everyone who views it. It creates a memory to cherish.

My sister took notice, and gave me a sketch book. I began to draw more often until I was able to find my own sense of art style. For inspiration and reference, I look at and admire other artists’ and their artwork on Instagram. It’s quite beautiful to see, and it gives me a sense of motivation; that I would be able to draw something similar if I just work hard enough.

It also helps me study other artists: the uniqueness they bring into their art and being able to see their perspective of the world through their eyes. And I love it when others get to see my point of view of the world through mine. There is a sense of community, and we’re able to make genuine connections with each other.

I studied every aspect of drawing during my free time. I am just beginning my journey as an artist, but a drawing can already help me communicate my ideas better than my words ever could.

It makes me happy and it reduces the stress I experience at school. In some ways, drawing relaxes me and helps me become more aware of my surroundings and how the visual world functions.

Aileth Aguilar (she/her/hers)

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