A Year that Changed Everything in the Eye of An Artist


Katy Zhang, Editor

In light of a year of social distancing, The New York Times invited teens over the country to express their emotions during this pandemic with art. Through over 5,500 missions, sophomore Camila Salinas has been recognized in the article in the collection “Coming of Age”. 

Salinas has been drawing basically entire life in a style of realism inspired by real life experiences and scenes. 

“For the painting I did for the New York Times contest, I was inspired by my experience with Covid-19, since the theme was based around the events of 2020, ” Salinas said. 

During the process, Salina first started to see how her experience and feelings can be turned into a painting as she felt isolated due to the drastic changes of the school environment. 

“I made a sketch and then actually took a photo of my algebra class as a reference and then made my painting,” Salinas said. “ One of the challenges I faced was trying to convey this sad feeling of isolationism, and I tried doing that by having an empty classroom with bare walls and desks with very dull colors.” 

In the beginning, Salina said she was almost too scared to even enter the contest, however as she submitted her artwork, Salina did not think that she would’ve been recognized since it seemed insane to her.

 “When I entered this contest back in November I didn’t tell anybody because I thought I’d never be a finalist and it would be embarrassing,” Salinas said. “ Obviously now being published online and on the physical newspaper is crazy, and I would have never thought this would happen.” 

Aside from Salina’s personal growth, many peers such as sophomore Natalie Giorgetti also felt inspired by her art. 

A lot of people always say her drawings look like pictures, and they do,” Gioritti said. “ but I also think that her art has things that also let you know that it’s a painting or a drawing which shows she puts lots of work into it, and that makes it better than a picture.” 

Additionally, through Salina’s art, Giorgetti was able to see creativity that evoked emotions that make her an artist that truly stands out. 

“I have learned many things from her art,” Giorgetti said. “ I can see the emotions she faces through her drawings and I can also see how she views the world through her lens, through her art.”