Photo submitted by Missa Lunzer
Missa Lunzer expresses herself through art
Pen hits paper. A swirling line wisps across the page as the ink seeps through the paper and resonates. Drastic angles slash through the smooth curvature back and forth creating sharp twists of contrast. Although the scene seems sporadic, senior Missa Lunzer plants these lines, confident they will express her true feelings.
Art is a safe space for Lunzer. She spends a majority of her time squinting her eyes to examine her surroundings or furrowing her eyebrows to question the world around her. Her art comes in many shapes such as photography, classic sketches and even poems and short stories of her experiences every day.
“I’ve turned a lot more towards photography,” Lunzer said, swiping the pen across her page. “I don’t know why, I just like to capture moments and the emotions that can be interpreted by those images.”
She shook her head briskly and pointed her chin upwards, pausing for a moment. She blinked and went right back down to being entranced by her paper. Another set of dashes scatter across the page.
“Going to Stillwater at the time that I did from Forest Lake was very difficult,” Lunzer started. “I went, you know, halfway through seventh grade so everyone had already formed their cliques and because middle school is very cliquey I was automatically an outcast and people looked at me like I was an alien.”
She drew in a deep breath and set the pen down for a moment, explaining how hockey was the main factor in her decision to switch schools.
“They basically said they needed a goalie otherwise their team would fall apart and that really sucked to hear,” Lunzer said. “I didn’t want a bunch of girls to not be able to play their passion.”
“Missa is the best goalie around,” Missa’s mom Lisa said.
Lunzer scribbled away as her thoughts went on. She started playing hockey at a young age and found a lot of joy from the sport, even if some of it was not sunshine and rainbows. Her struggles with hockey eventually led to her needing to find a healthy way to cope with feeling astray from others.
“I started playing when I was five so it’s been a big part of who I am, and as a goalie especially you’re an outcast, an oddball, you’re just looked at as the weird one because you like to get pucks thrown at your face,” Lunzer explained. “So I think being an outcast with that, and in school, made me develop. I really had no other choice but to start expressing myself through art and writing stuff down and writing how I felt just to get it out and put it on paper and out of my head.”
As time progressed, her movements slowed. Her pen sat nestled in between her palm and her fingers, its tip still lightly pressed against the page.
“For my art process I used to be like, ‘oh I need to be as good as this person.’ I used to compare myself and my art to other people constantly,” Lunzer started. “But then I was like ‘okay, why do I do this?’ I just analyzed the way that I was thinking and I was like, ‘wait why do I care so much?’ So as I got older it became more of a free form expression and I started just throwing stuff on paper.”
She started up again and continued drawing. Glancing down at her leg, a small tattoo rests just above her ankle. She lifts her leg proudly, eager to describe her experience with tattoos and her transition between classic art and tattooing.
Lunzer explained she started to tattoo because whenever she wanted to draw in class and had no paper, she would just use her arms and legs as a canvas.
“Since I just turned 18 I plan on getting an apprenticeship pretty soon. I also set up a consultation for this week to get my first professional tattoo,” Lunzer exclaimed.
Lunzer described her tattoos and showed them off proudly. On her leg was a heart and a green and red face. Above her elbow floated a friendly ghost, and her arm held eyes, keeping a watchful guard.
“I will never get a tattoo without meaning,” Lunzer said. “It’s like what? It’s permanently on your body. It needs meaning.”
The pen finally lifted. A somber expression crossed her face as she thought back on her decision to switch schools and leave everything behind for a new beginning.
“I think everything happens for a reason,” Lunzer conceded. “Moving to Stillwater opened up a lot of opportunities for me that I never would have seen in my lifetime, and even though I struggled at first, I overcame it through art.”