Laurita Mazapàn is an expert at bringing the inside out. A Spanish body artist whose favorite canvas is her own skin, Mazapàn captures her meditative designs in stunningly personal photographs that have been exhibited around the world. The intimacy of her work, and of the sentiment behind the moody, poignant images she creates, couldn't be clearer. Mazapàn isn't just painting — she's exteriorizing her feelings, documenting the strengths and weaknesses that shape emotional worlds. "It's my moment to explore myself, to explore my thoughts, and to reflect about my life," Mazapàn explains to Refinery29. She also deepens the autobiographical impact of this mesmerizing visual storytelling with a series of symbols that recur throughout her illustrations, like the whimsical butterfly that embodies metamorphosis and the clusters of blooming, jewel-bright flowers that remind Mazapàn of her mother. There's an obvious bravery to Mazapàn's paintings, especially in her fearless belief that art represents an imaginative space just for her — and for her self-discovery. "I wanted to create a mirror where I can see myself, and I can see the strengths that I've got and the power that I've got at that moment," Mazapàn says. She's reclaiming her body as completely her own, a narrative that is told and digested and remade by her hands. If that isn't strength, we don't know what is.
Through her paintings, Mazapàn is spreading the self-love, helping other women see themselves and their emotional journeys more fully. Watch the video above to sit in on a session with one of her clients. (Spoiler: This one depicts an ethereal lavender sky and a flowering tree strung with broken chains, which stand for women's growing influence in the world.) "What I want is when the person sees herself in the mirror, [she thinks], Yes, this is me," she says.