sistine-chapel-ceiling-interior-featured-690x340This student used Essay Mentors’ process to write a fantastic essay. He was accepted to Williams College, Boston College, Tufts University and Wheaton College. He was born in Kenya, and moved to Boston when he was in the 8th grade.

Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel saved my life.

Just like the renaissance paintings, I create art in order to communicate something. I recently sketched a piece portraying a woman in the constant struggle between good and bad. I wanted to make an image that would show us the relationship between our Id, ego, and super ego, a theory I learned in psychology class. I created shadowy devilish figures to portray the Id, a woman to portray the Ego, and angelic figures to represent the super ego. My favorite subject in art is the human condition- motherly instinct, a child’s innocence, human wickedness, a convict’s redemption, religion and many other human characteristics are found in my art.

In the whole process of creating a piece of art, I enjoy sketching the most. I enjoy it because it is raw, it is simple but it is the foundation of the whole piece. I always ponder, “The body has to be perfect, the mouth has to be perfect, the eyes, ears, chin, hair, neck, pose, background… it all has to be perfect”.

Goose bumps form on my arms and my pupils dilate when a good idea presents itself.

My ears lose their function as I drift into happiness.

My mouth frowns when I see a flaw.

My mind melts into conversations between selves. Self-one thinks “The hair needs more substance.” Self-two thinks “the nose is not symmetrical.” Self-ten thinks “I should stop thinking to myself.”

The conversation goes on until I can no longer see a flaw. I always strive for perfection, even when I am not drawing. Just like Michelangelo, I want to create perfection.

When I was twelve years old my father died; five months later my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to escape the sadness and boredom through art, but I was not inspired.

Then an idea struck me: the computer can give me the inspiration I needed. I rushed to the computer and googled “renaissance paintings”. I found one particular image that would change my life. The Sistine Chapel appeared on the screen for the first time. I saw the center piece; it depicted Adam stretching his finger trying to touch God.

I cannot describe the feelings that overcame me when I saw it, but I can tell you for sure, I felt exhilarated. I looked at Adam; he looked humble, kind, and innocent. I looked at God; he looked wise, magnificent, and all powerful. I felt vitalized when I saw Adam reaching for God. I wanted to be as worthy as Adam. I wanted to live fully, I wanted to learn from Michelangelo and be the best I can be.

I am now a muralist. I have been given the opportunity to influence people’s days and even their emotions. I work with a team of other students. Beyond making friends and having a good time the works that we produce together comes from the soul. Creating a mural is a team effort. Many organizations give us a chance to bring beauty to this world. The most memorable establishment I worked for was an elderly home; one woman told us “We want Elvis!” Staying true to their requests I created a scene of the 1960’s musical culture. I always feel gratified when their faces shine in amazement. I feel a connection with them when I help them immortalize a personal image on the wall.

My middle name is “Kamunge”- it means light bearer in my native tongue. Through my art and actions, I wish to bring light to those who are trapped in dark times.