Get to Know: Lucy Berliant

Stunning student self-portraits


To most people, a selfie is just a casual photo: a quick Snapchat reply or another post to your Finsta. For Lucy Berliant, a senior at Garfield, her “selfies” are best described as works of art. Combining creativity, Photoshop, and commitment, Berliant creates unique and beautiful self-portraits.

“I take almost all of my photos my self,” Berliant said.  “I’ll set up a camera, usually outside, pose, and then click a button on my phone and it takes it from the camera. And then I use Photoshop to put other elements in and play with the lighting.”

Books, among other things, play a large part in Berliant’s inspiration. Berliant grew up reading and painting her ideas. Now, elements from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Coraline can be found in her photos. Makeup plays a large role, too.

“My friend Julian Stoller, he’s an Instagram makeup person, he and I work together a lot,” Berliant said. “He’s someone who inspires me and keeps me motivated.”

In addition to being an artist, Berliant also plays the guitar, sings, and participates in numerous charity events. She was just at the Literary Lions Gala in March where she sang and played to raise money for homeless people.

As someone with dyslexia, Berliant’s school experience has always been challenging.

“School had always been difficult for me because I had learning disabilities,” said Berliant. “I struggle with reading and writing, and I always have to work ten times harder to get a passing grade.”

However, art and music provided an escape from school and a way for Berliant to feel comfortable about herself.

“I’ve always struggled with self love, and I never liked photos of myself,” Berliant said, “but I liked the art I could create so by putting myself in art it was a form of self appreciation. I’ve always had art as a way to be myself and be unashamed of it, and it has really helped me be proud of who I am as a person.”

Despite the difficulties, school and learning have always been something Berliant has had a passion for, science in particular. Taking Oceanography and Environmental Science at Garfield has furthered this interest and Berliant is heading to Alaska Pacific University next year to study both environmental and marine science.

“I always knew that I was interested in sustainability,” Berliant said. “I’m planning to actually use my art to spread more awareness about environmental issues in the best way that I can. A big goal of mine has been to show people the planet and the nature we’re in.”