“Querido Mexico” – Short Film is a poem I wrote to my home country – and overall the people in my situation – that contrasts the differences in cultures between Mexico City and Palo Alto, California. It is a thank you note to Mexico for keeping me grounded and for helping me not fall into the trap that is the toxic academic competition that goes on in my area’s schools. It goes over the importance of living in the moment, having time to be a child, and making choices for your own hapinness’ sake as it is your life and nobody elses. Living in misery to make other people happy can have grave consequences.
I wanted to create an artistic portrayal of how words can empower people and encourage them to persevere through difficult circumstances. People say that actions matter than words, but I think that words should not be underestimated in how powerful they can be. When I was creating this artwork, I wanted to juxtapose sadness and relief to tell this person’s story: unhappy at first, but as they glance at the phone lying beside them and see the messages they are receiving, they feel relief knowing that there are people that are concerned for them and that are willing to listen to their troubles. I feel that everyone going through tough times deserves to receive those messages. Whether it’s just “Are you okay?” or “Do you want to talk about it?” all of it matters. Those kinds of messages can fill people with the hope they need to persevere through their situation.
I wanted to illustrate a scene that showcased how hope could help you recover from a dark mental state. The chains that the character is being held down with represents the circumstances and emotions that’s keeping her in a dark place, where the diving mask/bubbles represent hope in the situation, as it’s keeping her stable until she can find a solution to escape from the shackles. There is always a surface, no matter how deep down you are in the sea.
This piece is about the hope and resilience of the Ukrainians in the War raged by Russian leader, President Vladimir Putin. When the war first began many photographers and journalists captured the devastation and shock of Ukrainians. A photo was captured of a woman awaiting a train out of Kyiv. The way her hands were held together and the way she looked made me want to understand her emotions. She looked terrorized by the uncertainty of her country’s situation. But later this year, as the war unfolds the morale of the Ukrainians shows power. Once predicted not to even last 3 months, they have lasted almost 10 and counting. The Ukrainian people had hope and something to fight for. I think this women embodies both the terror and the flickering hope that has overrun Ukraine.
I drew this during the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID lockdown. It gave my little sister and I the chance to spend time together and bond during a challenging time. Being black myself, I learned that my life may be more difficult and different than others around me who may not experience the same bias or criticism because they are not black. I have to prepare myself for whatever may come my way because of the color of my skin. But I hope that whatever comes is more positive than negative.
My artwork relates to something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve been doubting my art skills a lot and I feel like I’m not on the same level as other people my age. I’ve realized that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to the people around me and that I should look at their success and use that to motivate me to be better instead of feeling bad about it. Also seeing the people I look up to support and compliment me and my art gives me hope and motivates me to get better and reach my goals.