Who is your shero?: Creative Process / by Bianca Ng

I remember waking up that morning in November and reading a group text message from my friend, "It happened." I cried in my bed and then had to explain to my mom why I was so upset and terrified about the election results. Over the next few months, every conversation was about some shitty thing Trump did or didn't do. I feel privileged to say that I don't remember the last time the entire country felt so angry, divided, and fearful. Before heading to the Women's March in D.C., I spontaneously illustrated a few poignant quotes from strong women. They were colorful and straightforward, but somehow still powerful. Most importantly, I had fun creating them.

Out of sheer frustration and hopelessness about the political climate in the U.S., I decided to pursue a personal project celebrating women for Women's History Month in March. I was sick of being surrounded by negativity and wanted to contribute something positive to the world. As a type-A lady who has to-do lists and religiously lives by her calendar, this project was relatively unplanned. I sent a call out to friends, family, and collaborators to answer the question, "Who is your shero?" 

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Up to this point, most of my creative work had been primarily analog and black and white. Black acrylic ink markers were home for me. I wanted to challenge myself outside my comfort zone, so I spent a weekend having fun in illustrator and using the Adobe Creative Cloud app on my phone. 

I'm not one to pace myself, so naturally, I pushed myself off the deep end by challenging myself to use over sixty individual colors. There wasn't a single color I used twice in the thirty-two illustrations I created for the project. If something scares me, I try to face it head on, sometimes dangerously so. This creative experiment helped me gain confidence in using color in my designs and illustrations. Previously, I would hesitantly pick colors and avoid any muddy, gross hues, but now, I'm able to embrace the potential for every color combination. The stranger the pairing, the more I gravitate towards it. I was super excited anytime someone complimented the colors because that was the most challenging aspect of the project for me, besides getting enough people to participate in my project!

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Another challenge I struggled with was physically completing the project because I wanted to share one drawing a day during Women's History Month on my Instagram. On average I had twelve-hour long work days working as a designer while commuting from Manhattan to NJ. Because this project was so spontaneous, I didn't plan out when I would create or share the work on my Instagram. Some days, I would rush back home after a long work day and stay up late to complete the drawing because I didn't want to miss a day. As much as I wish I had more time to reflect and create, I think the lack of time prevented me from overthinking. This whole project was a bit of a creative experiment for me (as most passion projects are). Before this project, it had been many months since I pursued another personal project. Despite the exhaustion and frustration, I felt the creative spark within me come back to life and I found the joy in creating again.

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