UNDERGROUND TEENS: Victoria Gapuz





Victoria Gapuz is a creative soul with a big heart. Her kindness is astounding and transcends well into her work. She has a rare sense of empathy that not many people can truly have. She is able to put herself in another person's shoes, therefore, Victoria is able to look through more than one looking glass. Victoria's work reflects her distinct mindset, especially with her photo series Something You Need to Hear.


Victoria's use of warm colors creates a pleasant ambiance to her photography style. Her depiction of nature brings out, not only the obvious beauty of it but the unconventional side as well. Victoria's utilization of warm color schemes brings about a movie still type of photos. With Victoria's wit and style, we can see her taking a big leap to a big and bright future.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from feelings—the concept of feeling alive, nostalgic, loved, uplifted, etc. With my photos, I try to encapsulate an emotion, whether that’d be my own feelings or something I want to evoke from my audience. I find it mind-blowing how a photo can evoke a certain emotion, how a photo can correspond to an event in your own life, or remind you of a person you’ve met. It’s my favorite thing about photography by far. 



When and how did you start art or photography?

I always looked up to my older sister, who was immensely creative in various art forms—one of them being photography. Due to our large age gap, we weren’t as close when we were kids. Although as we both got older, we started to understand one another, developing our strange, yet incredible sister bond. This enabled her to open up to me emotionally, which was something I yearned for as a younger sister. Along with this bond, she became my mentor, sharing how to go against the rules, how to embrace the night, and how to turn a photo into art. One day in her spurts of creativity, she finally gave me a crash course on photography. Although she wasn’t very technical, she showed me how to properly hold a camera and the different angles that I could take a photo. Just that 30-minute crash course on photography was enough to encourage me to continue— I can’t thank her enough for that. 



What do you want to say to your artists out there who are still trying to find themselves?

One word: document. Challenge yourself to take a photo a day, or multiple photos. I find that consistently creating, whether that would mean writing in your journal, getting home from school and painting, or snapping photos on your commute to school— it all stimulates your mind to perceive things differently. It’s also a great way to spend your spare time productively, or even to distract yourself. Through this experimentation, I feel as if you will get to know yourself, what you’re interested in, what you like, or dislike, etc. Also, I believe that the beauty of being human is that we are always growing, and changing. As an artist as well, we have the capability of being whoever we want to. So if one day you feel like you’re an absolute mess because you photography style fluctuates—it’s okay, it’s all a part of your own growth. 



If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?

I would be the immensely talented, Sarah Kay, who is a spoken word artist. Her poetry is like no other, and she captivates her audience with such eloquent words and a genuine story. She also travels the world, along with her friend, Phil Kaye, to spread the word about spoken word poetry through a project called, Project V.O.I.C.E. I would love to be her because I think about how many lives she’s touched with her poetry. One day, I would love to impact a large scale of people, by sharing my experiences, and making others feel like they can get through this. 


What is your favorite 90s’ movie? And why?

I cannot express my love for the movie, Goodwill Hunting. I love how as the movie proceeds, you really get to see the vulnerability of each character, and how all of them are three-dimensional. Not to mention, the cinematography is killer. The entire movie just evoked so much emotion from me that it remains one of my all-time favorites. 



Here is an insightful sampling of Victoria's work:

Something You Need To Hear was a series I started on my Instagram inspired by my journal entries. I went through an incredibly tough time this year, and I found that writing was one of the only things that kept me going—it was cathartic. I tried not to document all the negativity, but instead, the things I wanted to remind myself. It was easy for me to let my emotions take the best of me, and for a while, I let them. Nevertheless, this is not about my past, this is a photoset about overcoming. Whatever you’re going through as of right now, please remember:


All is well. All is well. All is well. All is well. Shout it from the rooftops, and believe it with each breath. 


“What does it mean to feel whole?”
“To be present—to be completely still & soak everything in.”



Everything matters. Whatever makes you feel magnificent to wake up each morning—it matters. Do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise. 



These moments of stillness make up practically a third of your life. Why let them pass? It’s so easy to get caught up in work, school, life, but isn’t this what we live for? Just moments, like these, isn’t this where we feel the most alive? 




NEVER allow someone make you feel less than you really are. Never allow someone’s words sting you heart, or make you feel significant. Your self-worth is not defined by someone’s thought of you. You matter. I promise you with every bone in my body that you truly matter.


You deserve to feel alive. You deserve to live in the moment, to have every cell in your system ignite. You deserve to be in love with the world—to be in love with yourself. 



Open the blinds & take a deep breath. You are capable of so much. Don't let the resonating thoughts break you. If they do, then I’ll help you pick up the pieces. 



I have this gut wrenching feeling that things will get better—I will get better. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s only a season of time. It is not forever. Search for that same gut feeling, because it’s  there if you look deep enough. 



You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. Shout if from the rooftops, and believe it with each breath. 

Follow Victoria on Instagram for more of her work: @justorification


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