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Michaela Santulli – “This I Believe” Winning Essay

I believe in art.

As children we were always told to go against the grain. Do what makes us happy and
be the fish that swims against the stream. However as we got older we found that sometimes
people would judge us for being us. Some stuck in the belief that if you don’t follow society’s
picture of “normal” you are not worth it. Those people though fail to realize that the picture of
being “normal” is the most boring painting. They aren’t taking advantage of the canvas they are
given, the canvas being life. Instead of going all out to their greatest ability and using the most
colors, adding the most detail and making sure the canvas is how they envision it, they once
again trap themselves in the idea of “normal.”

I believe that nobody is normal.

As individuals with different personalities, looks, and ideals, there is no way of being
“normal” because normal to one person is completely different to another. One person may see
normal as dyed hair, colorful clothing and rock music. Another may see it as more natural hair,
neutral colors and pop. However you may paint your canvas, don’t judge others for having a
different technique.

I believe everyone is different.

In art there are so many different mediums and tools you can use to reach your end
goal. Some like to use oil paints. They like the way it gives them a lot of time to work and the
detail it can provide. Others may like watercolor. It forces you to work fast, but at the same time
you need to keep a good pace to keep the water flowing where you want it. Both of these
options may not work for some. They might take the middle route of acrylics. Fast, but more
steady paced. But as we are all individuals, you can’t only stick to 3 techniques. Charcoals,
digital, pastels and more are all other routes to take. I like to compare this to people, and how
we do the same thing. Some may take their time with all the work and problems they ever
encounter, ensuring a clean solution. Others might rush through their work and problems,
attempting to climb to the top. Others might be in the middle, and some not take these paths at
all. It all depends on how YOU want the canvas to look in the end.

I believe we have control of our lives.

Imagine for a second that you were the only person on earth. Nobody is around to judge
you. Nobody is around to tell you what to do. And nobody is around to dictate your life. Take a
moment to think. What would you do? Now come back to reality where people are around you.
Think. Now what would you do? If your answer isn’t the same, why? Think. Are you letting
people around you dictate your life?

I believe in happiness.

As humans we have emotions, one being happiness. It’s an emotion we all deserve to
feel. This is why you need to grab the medium you want to use, and paint your canvas the way
you want. If wearing crazy clothing makes you happy, do it! I’m sure you’ll look amazing. If your
dream job is in theatre, go for it! Do the job you’ll be happy in. Life isn’t about the final painting.
It’s about the process you took to make it, and how it makes you feel along the way. Be the
artist to your own life, and paint the canvas that comes with it.

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