Over the course of my life, I have often felt detached from my home to the point of feeling like an outsider even among my own family. To cope with these depressive feelings, I often use art as a means of detaching myself from my emotions. Leaving home made me realize how meaningful it was to me, and how much I desired to connect with my family. Towards the end of 2020, my mother's cancer resurfaced, bringing a renewed sense of melancholy for being away from her during this time. In this photo, taken just a month before she entered hospice, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being disconnected from my family while my mother endured her cancer treatments. To cope with this pain, I turned to art, drawing a picture of the Bayou Teche (snake), a cherished symbol of my connection to my roots.
When looking for inspiration, one of my earliest was that of my mentor, Professor Osamu James Nakagawa. The example image is from his series Mado, which he describes as a work that he comes back to when needing to center himself in moments of isolation.