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My name is Lauren and I am African American. My grandparents are from South Carolina, but my mother was raised in Brooklyn. The Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, where I live, is an interesting place to grow up. There are many different types of people, styles, and hair colors.

I have many interests, but the one thing that all of them have in common, is that they are all artistic. I love all kinds of music, performance art, poetry, and sculpture. My main visual interests are graffiti art and avant-garde fashion.

I think art expresses innermost feelings in ways that people can see, feel, hear, and touch. It makes things that are intangible, tangible. I want to go to art school and major in art history.

Even though I am only seventeen years old, I realize that television, books, newspapers, and other types of media have desensitized me. Working with younger people shows me a more uninhibited way of thinking and seeing the world, that opens my eyes to see things I have not noticed before.

Working with older people shows me the good and bad things about the times before me, and allows me to decide what lessons I am taking with me into the future.

I am transported by the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Georgia O'Keeffe, and the Tats Cru. These artists use symbols from life to create personal works of art. O'Keeffe makes cow skulls and barren deserts look soft and almost inviting, and Basquiat and the Tats Cru are graffiti artists who began to legitimize this underground and subversive art form.

In the future, I see myself becoming a more worldly person, more fabulous, more confident, and punctual. I'll be more in touch with my own creativity and fabulousness, and I'll be surrounded by people that I respect and value and vice versa.