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A trifecta of anecdotes exploring social identity

Sophomore Studio | Winter 2017

Three short stories about three defining parts of me: a college student studying art and design (Arty), an immigrant who feels out-of-place in both her new and “home” country (Amihan), and a girl who is terrible at being “girly” (Aria). They struggle with expectations and learn how to deal with their issues in their own ways. Each story is a journey of self-discovery and identity, exploring how it feels not to fit in and how it feels to belong. These three stories were digitally illustrated, then printed into three booklets named after each main character: Arty, Amihan, and Aria. I created the book covers and bound the books by hand. In order to demonstrate the importance of getting to know someone for who they are and not judge a book by their cover, each book is unidentifiable on the outside — only by reading their story will we find out who they are.

The three stories are intentionally drawn in three different styles, for stylistic purposes as well as to better suit the character’s story. Arty follows the style of mid-century children’s book illustrations: the limited color palette reiterates the limitations of her family’s expectations, and the geometry of her illustrations juxtaposes practicality against Arty’s stereotypically “impractical” major of art and design. Amihan is drawn in my own style, going back to what I have developed over my years of drawing, which relates to Amihan’s homeward struggles. My art style is something I have grown into, in parallel to Amihan’s situation about growing into a Filipino-American. Aria follows the style of Japanese shoujo manga, a genre of graphic novels in Japan that targets a young female audience, to reiterate the gender divisions that occur in her story.

Arty represents my passion for art and my doubt in the success of pursuing art in college and in the creative field. Aria represents my femininity and questions my self-worth in a world of exaggerated gender norms. Amihan represents my heritage, my immigrant childhood and family, wanting nothing more than a place to call “home.”

Arty, Amihan, and Aria: Welcome
Arty, Amihan, and Aria: Selected Work
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