Aaliyah Charlot

Photo+courtesy+of+Charlot.

Photo courtesy of Charlot.

Heather Fabritze, News Editor

With four years of art classes under her belt, including AP Studio Art, Aaliyah Charlot finishes off her high school career with a continued passionate involvement in EHS’ art programs and the undeniable ability to light up a room. Although she does not currently participate in any school clubs, she dedicates herself to many school spirit-related activities; this includes a notable win in the 2019-20 art show t-shirt design competition, which resulted in her design, combined with that of another winner, being put on that year’s art show t-shirt.

Charlot plans to attend Albright College for the next four years, before transferring to an HBCU — a historically black college or university — to study for a law degree. She aspires to one day be involved in humanitarian work.

Stinger: How did your interest in art begin?

Charlot: I practiced for a really long time, ever since I was little. A lot of people ask me if I’m self-taught or not, and I will say that I am self-taught because I’ve never actually gone to a teacher. The only actual teacher that’s taught me anything helpful, really, are the teachers that I’ve met once I got to high school, which was Pfenninger, Soboleski, and Maley. But before high school, I was just practicing and I kept on drawing … It’s calming to me [and] it’s fun to me. I really like when the finished product comes out; I like large, big pieces and I like showing [them] off. I like receiving compliments for the work and I like showing it to … people. It’s just something really fun to me and it’s a nice hobby.

Stinger: What are some of your favorite pieces that you’ve done in the past few years?

Charlot: Actually, there’s a recent one that I did. It’s called “Golden Eyes.” I did it for Drawing and Painting 3, for Maley’s class. It was inspired by an impressionist artist called Gustav Klimt. I did a self-portrait of myself, and then the background was inspired by his work and how he does his gold patterns in the background. I really like how that one turned out. I also really like my AP portfolio, how it’s coming out so far.

Stinger: What is your greatest accomplishment of the past four years?

Charlot: My greatest accomplishment in four years is actually … my portfolio winning a silver key in the Scholastic Art Show this year. I was very proud about that, because last year I only entered one piece into the competition and I didn’t win anything. I was a little sad and bummed out, and when everybody was saying, “Oh, look at mine,” I was happy for them, but I was like, “Oh man, I didn’t win anything.” Then the next year I decided to turn in more pieces, and I actually turned in a whole portfolio that time, and then my entire portfolio got a silver key. It was displayed at the Kutztown University Gallery and I was really proud about that because I got to bring my family and they saw my artwork display with everybody else’s artwork. It felt all official and I was very proud of that.

Stinger: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

Charlot: The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to definitely be aware of yourself, especially with COVID these days. My grandmother, she passed away because of COVID. Ever since then, I’ve kind of really been in my head a lot. I’m a lot more aware of myself and aware of how I am around people, and what I say around people, I think, because of what happened. I’m a lot more empathetic than I was. So, I’ve definitely learned that it’s never good to be a hypocrite in situations. If you are going to be a hypocrite in a situation — because sometimes, you know, people can’t help but be hypocrites; there are many times where I’ve been a hypocrite — the least you can do is be honest with yourself, be aware of that aspect of yourself, try hard to do better, and change and better yourself for yourself and other people. So, honesty and awareness of how you are around others and yourself for who you are is something that I’ve learned.

Stinger: Who is your biggest inspiration?

Charlot: You know, I really want to say BTS … I mean, in some type of way it is BTS, but because I think very, very fondly and deeply about my family, my biggest inspiration is my father. He’s someone that I [have looked] up to a lot from birth … and he’s someone that I know will always be in my life for a very long time. If I ever stopped liking BTS, it won’t necessarily break my heart or anything. It’ll hurt but, as of right now, my biggest inspiration is my father. And for however long it may be, my second inspiration is BTS.

Stinger: What’s your favorite memory from EHS?

Charlot: Any memories that have to do with friends and just socializing with people and teachers. I really, really, really liked talking to the teachers if anything, because it just makes you feel … a deeper connection and an understanding with the teachers, rather than just, “I’m giving you assignments and I’m taking the assignments,” and you’re giving me my grade. You could have more of a … working relationship with them, I guess. And it’s just nice to be a little bit closer. Maybe not best friends or anything, but to be able to talk to them and feel comfortable around your teachers.

Stinger: If there’s anything you want to be remembered for, what would it be?

Charlot: I want to be remembered as someone who always kept a smile on her face and who can light up people’s day. I really like doing that. I like to make people laugh, I like to make people smile.

Stinger: What are your plans for the future?

Charlot: I would like to become a lawyer for criminal justice. Especially now of all times, with everything that’s happening with Asian Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, school shootings, all this stuff. There’s just some so [many] bad things happening and so many good people being put into jail for no apparent reason, that I’d really like to be part of helping something like that. So, I would like to become a lawyer. I’d also like to become rich. I’d very much like to become rich. That’d be nice because it’s not like I want to work for the rest of my life. I would like to retire early, that’d be great.