By Caroline Binley, online editor-in-chief

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Freshman Enrika Narvilaite’s drawing of model, artist and photographer Toni Mahfud.

Four emojis changed freshman Enrika Narvilaite’s winter break. After she posted a sketch of model, artist and photographer Toni Mahfud (@tonimahfud) to her instagram, he replied: ????.

“It was crazy,” Narvilaite said. “I was so happy. I was excited because I actually felt appreciated. … Artists are usually like, ‘You’re worse than me.’ but he actually supported me, and it was great.”

In addition to being a proud moment for Narvilaite, the event helped blow up her instagram account, adding almost 1,000 new followers to the fold.

The post is her most popular, with hundreds of comments and thousands of likes, but it’s not her only success. For the last year, Narvilaite has run an art instagram (@critiq_) with almost 2,300 followers and multiple celebrity responses.

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Freshman Enrika Narvilaite’s favorite drawing: a portrait of model Jordan Barrett.

This was the second time Muhfud liked one of her drawings. Model Jordan Barrett (@iblamejordan) also commented on Narvilaite’s drawing of him, writing “You sketch free hand? Epic???”

Even when celebs don’t respond, her pieces receive 20-100 comments and 300-3000 likes, all of which help boost her confidence in her art.

“I’m not big on being like, ‘Oh my gosh. No one liked!’ but I feel like the more likes, the more support and the more comments, I feel like people want to see me draw, and I feel like I’m actually doing it for something, not just doing it for myself.”

However, Narvilaite feels huge pressure to keep the account active. She tries to post once or twice a week, dedicating at least three hours to each piece.

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One of freshman Enrika Narvilaite’s first Instagram posts.

Moreover, the responses she gets aren’t enough to keep her happy with her artistic ability. Narvilaite still wants to improve “everything,” including her shading, accuracy and ability to draw without using a grid as reference.
Narvilaite has been using the grid method — separating a photo into smaller squares and then recreating the same squares on a grid in her sketchbook — for two months, but her art goes back much further.She has been drawing for as long as she can remember, but she didn’t start to develop her talent until a year and a half ago, when she “picked up a pencil” and committed to improving.

“Ever since I was a kid, people usually found me better than everyone else [at drawing],” Narvilaite said. “I always won contests and everything. One day, I was like, ‘Everyone has a talent. I want to have my own. I want to be special.’ so I just started drawing.”

For more on Prospect students and their art, stay tuned for Prospector Friday tomorrow!