My name is Maria, and I have been interested in art since I was little. I’ve always loved to draw and paint. A lot of my earlier artist interests came from my grandfather. He was always painting the ocean or drawing his family. My mom and dad encouraged me to continue exploring my creative side, and let me go to Sitka Fine Arts Camp. I realized then that my strengths in art were black and white photography and watercolor. I paint a lot of family members and friends. I even express my feelings through art and create creatures of my own when in a dark place, as a form of coping with past struggles.