• SH

Towards Permanence

I am very excited to share this piece, titled "Towards Permanence," on a positive moment of hope in the path to legality for undocumented immigrants. This piece was made as a commission for Prof. Basia Ellis, Assistant Professor at California State University, a sociocultural psychologist whose research focuses of migrant "legality."

It's a small piece, just 8 by 10 inches. Still, it took me three full days, and several sketches and drafts in digital and paint media, to work on it and get it right, without counting the time that I spent thinking it up and working on other ideas for this commissioned project. Basia had made me promise repeatedly that I'd spend no more than an hour on it... but the opportunity was simply too exciting and meaningful for me to just make "a quick sketch," as we'd agreed. I am quite happy with how it turned out.

Below is the letter that Basia's researchers received in their meeting, where I explain a little as to how this piece came about, and what I was trying to convey. Check out their website, undocuwisdom.com, to see the sort of life advice for and by undocumented immigrants that they've compiled in this centralized and accessible repository. Given that the undocumented experience is so hidden and therefore isolated, while trying to make a living in the outskirts of legal society, this website's contents can serve as a critical function in making the best, most informed decisions on things that matter the most for this battered population. I am proud to have contributed to its contents, and so touched to have been given the opportunity to thank and appreciate its creators.

And.. just for a fun peek behind the scenes, here are some of the later sketches and drafts... The second one would have been it if it wasn't for the fact that I didn't have a compass and used a bad homemade one. The digital one was just getting set-up before I resigned and settled that, at least for now, traditional paint media are simply better for my art.

I could make endless variations on this theme....