Orlando was my home for 5 years. That city shaped me into the adult I am today and I couldn't be more grateful. Its diverse and hardworking people made me the person I am today. People come from all over the world to find themselves and chase their dreams in Orlando. We work extremely long hours, during weekends, and holidays to keep the show going for other families from around the world. And by doing this we found a family in each other. Orlandoians are the strongest most accepting people in the world and I know even through heartbreak they will get through this.
When I first heard the Love By Design event's call for artists I knew I had to participate. I had an idea in my mind and pulled some inspiration together.
I knew I wanted to make a rainbow quilled piece to show the heart of Orlando. I sketched up my idea and went to work.
I had originally included the pulse tattoo design. But once I got going I knew the heart alone was exactly what I wanted to say. I picked up a pack of rainbow cardstock and started cutting half inch strips.
The oranges not only represent Orlando but love. An orange and an orange can love each other just like and apple and an orange or an apple and a pear. Each orange represents an Orlandoian and the flowers represent love blooming.
Here are some different closeup views and angles on the work.
The final work "Love Blooms Here" seemed to create itself very quickly. I really couldn't hold myself back from making it. I also have been getting very positive feedback on the piece online. It was shared by AIGA MN among others and even one of my favorite female artists left positive feedback.
The positive feedback reminds me that if I truly love what I am creating others will be able to connect with that passion. As James Victore says "In the particular lies the universal." I believe that is true when you create from your heart.
I will update this post about the upcoming Love By Design this Saturday in Orlando. My original work will be up for auction to raise money for the families of the victims of the Pulse shooting.
Unfortunately FedEx screwed up my shipping and my work almost didn't get to the event. A HUGE thank you to my friend Mike for getting the work there! He picked it up and delivered the work to the event. And he also gave me photo updates to calm my nerves!
The event looked amazing and AIGA Jacksonville reported that $5000 was raised for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
I received lots of social media love about my work. I heard from the new owner, I got some shout outs from AIGA chapters in Arizona, Minnesota, Washington DC, Alaska, and more, and I even saw others recreating my work. I was very flattered and it reminded me that my work doesn’t stop here. I will keep showing up. I will keep creating for those who no longer can. And I will keep speaking out for change and acceptance because this doesn’t have to happen and PRIDE and standing up to gun violence matters.
This work came from my heart and it helped me deal with the tragedy that happened. I hope it did the same for others.