Written and illustrated by Akshita Sinha, a first-year college student.
“There is always a car ahead of you on the road and always a race to win.”
This piece is an ode to the moments whereas individuals we have felt a pit in our stomachs because of jealousy and guilt of someone else being better than us. The feeling which we would never say out loud because we have been socialized as individuals to push the feeling of self- doubt and jealousy to the margins. My artwork has helped me grow and transition as a person. It has given me the space to be true to my doubts and reflective of my deepest insecurities. One such doubt that I have reflected on is that of the feeling of not being good enough.
No matter how good others say we are or how often we are validated externally, there are moments in our lives where we are in constant conflict with ourselves. No matter what we do or how good we are, there is always someone better who we are pitting ourselves against. This piece is depictive of this struggle- be it art or life, we as humans are more than one sole body. All of us have different faces to cope with life.
This art piece portrays the same contestation using two voices in my head: one where I am trying to fight self-doubt and others where I reflect on the self-doubt in a competitive environment. The multiple faces showcase the different masks we put on as individuals to deal with these situations; There is sadness, which makes me wonder how others are always doing better than me. How at times I am unable to validate my own work in a self-created race of being good enough; Happiness, which gives me satisfaction that I have the courage to be vulnerable and own the feelings which I represent through my art;
The face of perplexity, which represents that I’ll never be able to get out of these myriads of feelings. The face of never knowing why there seems to be a melancholy and contestation of self- validation;
The face of fear representing the unknown and the feeling of being terrified of what lies ahead – will I be good enough for what is next to come?
Lastly, two small blank faces, which actually are faceless with no identity, no color. The blank faces allow me to hide my contemplation and confusion to the world which is rapidly evolving to changing standards. Thus, putting a blank cover gives room for others to paint my face and interpret me in shades of happy, sad, and confused. No matter how indifferent or silent I may look; my illustrations are voicing these internal dialogues. I believe I can never put up a facade to my artworks as false images would leave me with a blank canvas.