More Than One

Internet Connection

For my entry, I wanted to show how online communities can support others when they don’t receive support from the people around them due to how they identify. The colorful hearts are coming from the phone to represent the support from online communities while everything else is colorless and dull to contrast the hearts and show that the character is feeling negative emotions. There‚Äôs so much negativity everywhere about other people identifying how they want and it could be from strangers online or family members. I see and hear so many negative comments about people in the LGBTQ community and it makes me upset because those people leaving the comments genuinely hate a group of people because they want to be themselves. Being in an online community where everyone is supportive definitely helps me when I lose hope.

Representing Yourself

Lots of things make up our identities, whether it’s our sexual orientation, gender expression, our ancestry, or if we choose to put a label to it at all. My entry is about sharing the things that we identify with through media, to show others that we are not one trait, and that we are all individuals who are more than one label. Through the height of the Stop Asian Hate movement, I noticed that there were more people who looked like me appearing on TV through either commercials or who made their presence more known on social media. This brought me to the revelation that representation does matter, that we are not this monolith that started the pandemic. We can show others that there is more to our character than just where we may have come from.

All in a Day’s Work

All in a Day’s Work is a piece dedicated to my identity. I’m a hard worker, working my hardest to realize my dreams and ambitions. Within the art piece is me, working at my desk in the future, stretching because I’m tired. I think it perfectly captures one of my defining qualities, my pure will to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be. Even when I’m tired and I feel like the world is against me, I don’t stop working. I persevere, and I don’t stop until I’ve reached my goals. And so, All in a Day’s Work is a celebration piece that appreciates the things I’ve done for myself to be the person I am right now. It’s an everyday battle, and I will always win.

More Than One

It describes who I am, what I can do, and that I got a strong mindset.

“Mariposas”

I chose my painting of butterflies because I believe it represents my growth and hopes for a better future. I’ve been struggling my whole life, lost and confused trying to find my way out but I was intercepted by drugs and negative influences. I felt like I was the weakest out of all the caterpillars. My family labeled me as a “troublemaker” as a “follower” as a “useless person”. Currently I am in my cocoon being incarcerated and I am becoming stronger, growing, learning and destroying my labels. I know once I find my purpose and passion in life things will change and I won’t have to rely on drugs or any harmful situations. I am trying to find my myself, getting myself together, maturing, and ready to have a beautiful existence. Once I leave Kirby, I will be like a beautiful butterfly. I will be smarter, stronger, independent and free.

Inner Meeks

I chose this illustration and poem because I believe it reflects my current life. I am serving time, and I am losing precious time with my family, friends and loved ones. I know I am a better person and when I get out I promise myself that I won’t waste anymore of my time. I also don’t want people to look at me like another criminal or problem. I want to be a force of positivity to all people around me.

Definition of Me

I chose this painting because it is a quiet and peaceful forest at night. When I am stressed out I think about a forest like my illustration to help calm down and refocus. This empowers me and makes me feel strong and in control of my life. I am used to being around a lot of people and chaos, so thinking of a quiet forest alone gives me comfort.

Representation Matters

My entry depicts an Asian-American person holding the Asexual (or Ace) flag in their hand. They have the South Vietnam (or Republic of Vietnam) flag on their cheek, with the words “Representation Matters” at the top, which is also what I’ve named my submission. The theme of February’s prompt is “More than One”, and I feel like this phrase describes my identity perfectly. I am not only a Vietnamese American. I am not only an Asexual. I am all of those things. The idea of representation is a big deal to me, and I want my drawing to empower and inspire other people who relate to my background.

My Culture

I chose to enter my painting and poem because I want to represent my culture. I am a proud Mexican American woman, who wants to prove I can do anything I choose. Currently, I am in jail and labeled as a bad person. Now I want to prove that I am not a bad person, and I want to prove that I am a good person. I have learned a lot from my stay at Kirby, and now I am willing to do anything to make myself a better person. I know in my heart that I am strong enough to change, and if I put my mind to it I can do anything.