“My submission depicts a person sitting on a pedestal on a stage, with wings that are being cut. I meant for this to symbolize a child with a parent that expects great things from them while controlling them and stopping them from pursuing things they like. I created this artwork in hopes that the people who go through this could finally feel seen and heard.”

From Another Perspective…

“With everything going on, it is hard to focus on one thing at a time without worrying about another thing. I chose the theme of ‘hope’ because I wanted to show what gets me out of my negative state and come back with a better mindset. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or overly stressed, I try to find a new atmosphere and do something completely different. This usually involves being around the people I care about the most.”

Flower of Love

“My mother is the unifying piece in my soul, the all-important keystone which keeps me together. I look forward to embracing her warm smile every day after I arrive home, tired and stressed from the long school day. Her hard work inspires me to be the best person I can be. She is what makes me hopeful.”

Blossoming Identity

“As a young closeted queer person, I often felt alone. However, once I finally got to high school, I saw all of these wonderful openly LGBTQ+ people who were happy to reach out their hand to me. They supported me as I came into my own identity and helped me gain the confidence to be out myself. Seeing them out and proud gave me such hope for the future.”

Persistence is Key

“When you know your friend is struggling, you’ve got to be persistent. They may be afraid to ask for help or talk to someone about their problems. You’ve got to make them feel seen and let them know they can come to you and that they aren’t a problem. It’s never good to leave someone suffering. Always check up on them.”

I’m here for you

“This submission is about a boy who is having a hard time with comments from the internet, and it’s taking a toll on his mental health. Then, his sister comes in to check on how he is doing; she wants her brother to know that she is there for him to talk to. I am the oldest of three siblings, and my brother and my sister and I have all been close ever since we were young. I always want them to come to me if they have problems.”

The Light

“The comic is about how helping someone can change a person’s life. It can also save someone from [taking their life] or help them with their mental health. The comic also shows how a helping hand can be the light to a person’s darkness – eventually, they could even become somebody else’s light.”

Mental Health Awareness

“I chose this category because I know that many people struggle with mental health and I wanted to make this art for them to show my support.”

Don’t Speak

“Trauma can be difficult for people to speak up about. It’s even harder to talk about your trauma when you don’t have people who are supportive and willing to take you seriously. It’s very important that people have someone to talk to about their traumatic experiences [with], because talking about it helps in overcoming it; it’s also important that people recognize their ability to create safe spaces. […] I have overcome my own trauma thanks to my friends who have given me a place where I feel safe and comfortable enough to talk about it.”