The theme of this piece is Love for All: love for nature, love for all peoples and cultures and love for oneself. 2020 has presented us with challenges and uncertainty, but among one of the biggest challenges has been learning how to create meaningful connections while being physically apart. It is during these times where acts and reminders of love are essential for fortifying our morale. I wanted the piece to take place in a gallery because the way that I have perceived the pandemic is that everyone is sheltered within the frames of their life “painting”. However, when we take a step back and empathize with the different works of art, we can gain a deeper understanding of love and for one another. My illustration depicts a gallery where one can pause, independently reflect and tour the many aspects of love.
The illustration demonstrates how tightly interconnected we are with the natural environment. For this reason, I blurred the lines between the elements found in interior and exterior spaces. Notice the tree branches in the background rooting the piece together from left to right, the doodles of the different seasons blending into one another, and the lamp plugged into the sun to highlight the need for renewable energy. You will also notice the lounging girl in the middle of the piece reading a book that extends from one of the tree branches, signifying that our best teacher is nature itself.
Sometimes the mind tricks us into thinking that our goals are too far out of reach. The girl standing on a ladder reaching to take hold of a star serves as a reminder to not let go of our aspirations, regardless of the current circumstances. Staying true to your goals is a form of self-love. My favourite doodle that I include in the majority of my illustrations is the melting clock. Can you find it? The clock is a homage to the surrealist art style that inspires my work. The melting clock signifies that the only time we truly have is the present moment. May this serve as a reminder to be kind and to extend your love in the now.
I strive for my doodles to be an opportunity to freely express the thoughts that come, go and that hide in little nooks within the mind. Allow your eyes to wander and explore the many details of the piece, and you may find a new object or message within the illustration that will allow you to understand it differently with every glance. Love is always right in front of us, whether it's in that first cup of coffee in the morning, or found in the words of a new journal entry. We just have to pause and pay close attention.
-- Written by Ana Karen Garza
Ana Karen is a freelance artist based in Guelph, Canada and she is always looking for the next opportunity to transform life experiences into art. She translates the mundane into intricate and detailed designs with the use of simple black and white lines. She plays around with perspective and forms to create storytelling images that are both fun and contemplative. Ana is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto studying Environmental Science and Political Science. Ana's illustrations have been showcased within her university's college newspaper, as well as within a student-run cafe on campus. You can find some of her incredible works on Instagram.