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You Can't Cry While Drinking (Coffee)

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The desire for normalcy is constant, regardless of how unattainable one knows it is. As it seems, the harder one tries for a normal life, the harder it becomes to find it. The more life I experience, the more I

The desire for normalcy is constant, regardless of how unattainable one knows it is. As it seems, the harder one tries for a normal life, the harder it becomes to find it. The more life I experience, the more I realize that normalcy is a construct, completely based in generalizable concepts. Normal will vary from person to person, and even within that, life always provides plenty of deviations from the norm. Within those deviations lies trauma. Trauma is difficult to handle, period. It is even more difficult to handle alone. You Can't Cry While Drinking (Coffee) follows a collegiate arts student as she strives for normalcy while dealing with her mother's terminal diagnosis. This piece focus on alienation, mental health, relationships between women, and the damage that ignoring trauma can cause. It views her actions through the lens of comedy, as laughter can convey a vast and accessible range of emotions. Throughout my college career, I have gone through a significant amount of life stressors, beyond the traditional college work load. Instead of becoming overcome with grief from the traumas I have dealt with, I decided to analyze my life from an outside perspective, taking pieces to share with others. In my observations and experience, sharing stories of hardships with others is mutually beneficial. It allows the individual to come to terms with what they have experience while allowing others to not feel alone if they are struggling with their own lives. There is a considerable amount of comfort in the realization that one does not have to go through traumatic experiences alone. This creative project was performed March 2nd through the 5th. The public exposure was a substantial portion of the process, as sharing trauma was integral to the study of this thesis.

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2017-05

The Butanding: A Narrative Illustration Book and Exhibition

Description

My work focuses on the themes of grief, closure, and celebration of life. Life is a catalyst both celebration and grief. Feeling joy when a life is introduced is as common as feeling pain when a life is lost. When

My work focuses on the themes of grief, closure, and celebration of life. Life is a catalyst both celebration and grief. Feeling joy when a life is introduced is as common as feeling pain when a life is lost. When I lost my maternal grandmother nearly a year ago, I felt grief accompanied with guilt. I never got a chance to say goodbye since we lived so far apart, her residing in the Philippines and me residing in the United States. In order to get rid of these negative emotions, I sought closure. I attended her funeral, and now I want to celebrate her life through my artwork.
My work comes in two parts: an illustration book titled The Butanding and an illustration exhibition. The book will be published through lulu.com and made available to the public. The exhibition component will be held from March 2nd to March 6th in Gallery 100 as part of my senior exhibition Post Pre-Production with six other colleagues in the School of Art. The illustration book is a narration of a little girl and her growing friendship with a whale shark. The overarching theme of the creative project is closure with the passing away of loved ones.
The Butanding is a narrative illustration book about a young girl befriending the local menace of her village, the whale shark. Similar to my own experience, the main subject—the young girl—of my narrative is shown suffering from grief and guilt over her grandmother’s death. My work illustrates a progression of the young girl’s emotional state as she goes on a journey with the whale shark or locally known in the Philippines as the “butanding”. It provides the scenario of a grieving individual who gets the chance to reconnect with a deceased loved one and rebuild relationships that were lost.

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2015-05