Pitch black, pure white, and every shade in between: a zoomed-in subject looking up towards something bright, irises reflecting the light. Swift, dark markings represent the shadows.
After taking an art class her freshman year, sophomore Yana Lazarova-Weng developed a passion for drawing, especially with charcoal.
“I’ve always been drawing,” Lazarova-Weng said. “After taking Drawing I first semester, I just kept drawing. I just found that I enjoyed it more.”
According to Drawing teacher Eric Latimer, Lazarova-Weng had a dedicated attitude in class.
“There’s a social element to art classes, and some people focus mostly on that,” Latimer said. “Yana wasn’t one of them. She was just very into the work and she was sincere.”
According to Latimer, Lazarova-Weng connected with working in charcoal right from the start.
“When she was working with charcoal,” Latimer said. “She was one student who got all this charcoal over her face, hands, and she had no qualms about getting dirty like that. She truly embraced all aspects, even the muddy, kind of filth part of it.”
For Lazarova-Weng, her drawings help her to express and understand herself.
“I definitely want to continue it because it helps me express myself,” Lazarova-Weng said. “The more I draw, the more I learn. Everytime I draw, I learn a different way to show emotion or depth.”
Sophomore Charlotte Cahill, Lazarova-Weng’s close friend, said that Lazarova-Weng embraces spontaneity and challenges herself.
“She just really has a creative side and she kind of just goes with whatever happens,” Cahill said. “With the charcoal, you can’t really plan it perfectly, so she just kind of goes with the flow.”
According to Cahill, friends consistently support Lazarova-Weng’s artwork on social media. Having gained confidence from family and friends, Lazarova-Weng has begun to sell drawings to customers.
“I liked that people enjoyed my artwork,” Lazarova-Weng said. “I just started drawing portraits of people for free, but then my mom told me that I could charge for them.”
Latimer explained how determination and growth has been the key to Lazarova-Weng’s success.
“She struggled, but struggled in a good way,” Latimer said. “She was really trying to discover how she could outdo her former self. She made solutions, and not problems. She just made things happen.”