Drawing A Brighter Future

Sophomore Andie Barajas holds a part of her piece, “Usher to Tomorrow”

Isabella Sapountzis, Reporter

She keeps quiet most of the time. Hands covered in the grey dust of graphite and charcoal, she focuses intently on drawing even the most minuscule details of her twin sister Mads’ face, making sure it’s perfect. After all, it is going to be entered into VASE— the Visual Arts Scholastic Event—and she wants to make sure she makes the highest score possible, and hopefully even qualify for state. 

            Sophomore Andie Barajas is a passionate artist, and although she has a bubbly and introverted exterior, there’s a lot going on inside of her head—a lot that people wouldn’t even begin to assume by just talking to her for a couple of minutes. 

            This is Andie’s second year entering her artwork into VASE. She nearly made it to state last year. This year, she’s entering two works of art– “Wishing For the Past” and “Usher to Tomorrow.” Both pieces depict metaphorical images of trying to either relive or escape her past, and her struggle with depression and loss. 

            “Wishing For the Past” is an artwork she completed with pencil and watercolor. “It’s a drawing of [my twin sister] looking into this area, and it’s very bright out there,” Andie said. “The place they’re in is very dark and the place they’re looking outwards on is their past.” The piece represents nostalgia and wishing for the simplicity of childhood, but being unable to obtain it due to being “chained to the present.” 

            The meaning seems to be even deeper than that, though— during her early childhood, Andie’s father passed away due to cancer. She and her family have been trying to cope with it ever since, and Andie decided to channel her feelings and thoughts into making art. 

            “Something [Mads and I] go through a lot in our lives is thinking about our dad,” she said, “so sometimes we wish we could go back to the past to live with our dad again.” 

            The second piece, “Usher to Tomorrow,” is an acrylic painting on cardboard depicting her twin sister and her cousin ushering Andie towards a bright light that symbolizes a brighter future. 

            “I went through a really dark time in my life where I didn’t want to live or go on with my life,” Andie said, warmth growing in her eyes. “But those two have given me a future and something to look towards so I can live to tomorrow.”