At age 5 they received their first mask They were instructed to only wear it when good impressions were vital. They never wore it at home, or with friends, or even at school. It was only worn to match their little bow tie or their little pink dress. It always shined like their little dress shoes.
At age 10 they met Esmeralda, and they gained a new mask. This one was worn at school and at the playground, for it was sturdy and it could withstand even the rowdiest recess games. It brought them confidence and charm, and they found that with it they run faster and joke even louder with it on. It had a flashy smile painted on it. A smile that could attract anyone.
At age 12 their best friend moved away, and a new mask was needed. This mask was light and comfortable, for it was intended for everyday wear. It was put on before school but taken off after. It was never to be worn at home. The mask did not alter the face, it changed ambitions. No longer were they interested in playing the clarinet. They were interested in playing the violin. Just like Ryan was. They didn’t want to visit Cambodia any more. They wanted to visit France. Just like how Lily, Meghan, and Jake wanted to. At age 15 they started to wear a mask at home too. This mask was the thinnest and the simplest; and it was able to slip underneath other masks so that multiple could be worn at once. This one brought content and happiness to their complexion; and overall it improved their appearance because it hid the dark circles under their eyes and the look of constant fatigue. This mask couldn’t be detected, even by their parents.
By age 18 they had a collection. A mask for every occasion, every situation, every interaction, every encounter. Some could be layered to create, what appeared to be, a completely new mask. No longer was the bare face in fashion. It was too vulnerable, too naked. They never sported a bare face. They were too afraid to take it off. What if they couldn’t recognize what was underneath?
Artist Statement I find that the best creative moments hit you out of nowhere. Whether it's in the shower or while you’re working on a math project, the faster you can write it down the more personal it seems because you eliminate the obstacles of overthinking or unoriginality. It’s ironic that my piece was written in 10 mins, while my intent was to capture the change of oneself due to human interaction over the course of years.