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Twelve Incarnations of Ruby

"This series of work depicts my character Ruby within twelve different themes in life broken into four categories: places, relationships, activities, and internal explorations. Places consist of rural, suburban and urban environments. Relationships deal with family, friendship, and intimacy. Activities are dancing, creating, and working. Internal explorations investigate self-doubt, spirituality and fantasizing. All the themes are universal in some way, making them interactive for the viewer to connect with a theme.

Ruby is in essence my alter ego, moving through my own personal history as a young woman grappling with identity. I chose to make her look unique, like a comic book character, with similar features described in many styles and materials, with a black birthmark over her right eye, which can be thought of in many ways. Her body is curvy, her hair black, short and spiky and when she wears clothes, she chooses a red and white striped shirt with blue jeans. There is a lot of symbolism and storytelling happening in each piece. I use text, words to songs, slang, and even derogatory language towards herself in Self-Doubt. This project was my thesis in grad school and I am still proud of it. It was layered and complicated, an exploration of self. I pushed the boundaries of what my school considered illustration, and I felt it fitting, as I was asking not only myself questions, but the viewer. Some loved it, others wanted to label and box it in and felt it wasn't illustration. I don't know if it is, but I think I told her story here. What do you think?"

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