Updated: Dec 30, 2021
When I was asked to create artwork for HAUS of NAVI, my immediate reaction was excitement, which was quickly followed up with dread of the pressure of making illustrations for a publication for the very first time. All in all, I am pleased with how my pieces turned out, despite my terrible habit of procrastination. These digital illustrations feature my original characters as models, wearing trendy and aesthetically pleasing outfits, with an emphasis on unusual color combinations and impossible designs. I pushed to use more dynamic posing, as well, to convey the characters’ personalities. My aim for these pieces is to convey duality: flirty and sexy vs. conservative or reserved, natural, realistic features vs. impossible and irrational, punk vs. pastel. The color usage exaggerates these points with prominent use of neons and bright, flashy colors, but it also has another purpose. Despite each model being radically different from the last, they are all unified in their uniqueness, and are not put off by their appearances. Their facial expressions show they are comfortable and confident in how they look, even if they would stick out in a crowd. When I was in high school, I dressed in absurd and unusual ways to express myself, using my body as a canvas to experiment with styles and colors; however, this had the unintended consequence of drawing a lot of attention towards myself, and took its toll on my mental wellbeing. Although we are told from early on to “be ourselves” and “be unique”, that’s much easier said than done. I’m not confident enough to say my illustrations will be enough to embolden and inspire people to have confidence in their own selves, but I hope one day that everyone will be able to step outside as themselves without the fear of judgement.