is an extension of a design I created for my first denim jacket. The feeling or idea of falling is usually an indicator of fear. A dream in which the viewer falls out of the sky is commonly interpreted as an insecurity or anxiety appearing in their life. Even the expression “my heart dropped” evokes the same sensation of plummeting doubt.
As the figure falls, its limbs are pulled further and further apart. It reshapes itself out of deformity into a swirling, dribbling mess. What becomes out of this downward motion is a reimagined, intricate beauty that may just rewrite the horror of falling altogether.
As an artist, I am constantly scouring the internet for reference pictures. The more I do this, the less I see full-bodied women in figure drawings, editorial settings, and media as a whole. At one point in time, women with such immaculate figures were worshipped for their fertility and depicted as goddesses or deities in visual culture. While prominent public figures like Lizzo and Rihanna have made great strides in advancing body positivity, we still have a long way to go in order to establish body diversity as a universal beauty standard. In their colorful outlines drawn on natural paper (made from elephant waste), I give to you my feminist heroes and a new ideal of natural beauty.
I Was Here
This piece is proof of my existence. Everything depicted above serves as physical evidence of my presence on Earth: the marks on my arms, the birth shoe given to my mother at the hospital, my hands reaching out of the Philippines to convey my family’s migration to America. As I have progressed as an artist, this piece has remained a representation of my origins both as an artist and a human.