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The Eloquence of Art
Expressing Everything I Need To Say
Lately, I have been pondering these three questions:
How can I create a sustainable habit that allows me to practice creating illustrations on a regular basis?
How do I use social media in a way that feels empowering and less like I am a tool for a corporation like Meta to exploit?
How can I use the skills and resources I have to contribute toward a greater good?
After much deliberation, I found my answers. It came to me a few days ago when I attended a town hall meeting hosted by Michael Hale who is my county’s current representative in the TN State Legislature. He is a member of the ultra-conservative super-majority Republican party that currently controls every proceeding in state governance with an authoritarian fist.
When a friend of mine asked him if he would consider voting against the anti-trans legislation that continues to be proposed, he said in no uncertain terms that he would not compromise his religious beliefs and moral values to support trans people and trans kids in any way. His words felt like a punch to the gut to myself and the queer community.
I decided that night that, in addition to protesting as much as I could, I would figure out a way to allow my art to advocate for trans people and speak out on issues that matter to me. This is when the answers to the above questions revealed themselves.
Starting next week, I will post original digital illustrations on my Instagram and Facebook feeds that focus on two issues close to my heart.
Transgender and Queer Rights
Climate Change and Climate Action
This graphic below is the first of several I will post for the foreseeable future.
I will invite all friends and family to share these posts on their feeds and help me with this advocacy. If you are connected to me on social media, please consider sharing my work and spreading awareness. A few posts will disseminate larger pockets of information, and I will try my hand at creating engaging infographics along the way.
My goal will be to post two or three illustrations every week.
I also thought about doing video posts about these issues, but that work is far more time and labor intensive. I would burn myself out quickly. Drawing is something I can do anywhere and tends to be more of a grounding and contemplative practice.
Artistic expression can often be far more eloquent than mere words. Art can embody a subject’s essence and deeper truths while still being open to interpretation. I love the depth and fluidity this creates.
Art does not always have to blatantly say anything or stand up for something, but it can be incredibly versatile and powerful when it does. Our world is changing in many troubling ways. Quite a few of our leaders are using their power to take people’s rights away. The abuses of global corporate greed (I’m looking at you, fossil fuel industry!) have eroded the delicate balance that sustains our climate and natural ecosystems. The frequent deadly fires and torrential storms and flooding happening around the world speak for themselves.
Whatever power I do have, it is time for me to use it and raise it high for all to see.
Illustrations by Roqué Marcelo
One of the next towns over from where I live is a small one called Woodbury. One of its best features is a park that sits on a hill along a residential street. The place is very charming with its playgrounds, tennis courts, covered picnic areas, sloping fields of grass, and even a tiny cemetery. It also happens to have some lovely large trees. I stopped there earlier this week for some quiet time and brought along my kitten Chopin (who I am training to walk on a leash and harness as a travel companion). We walked around for a bit in the waning summer sun and enjoyed the park. Chopin lounged around while I chillaxed and took in the view.
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