For the fictional story I wrote to accompany the illustration, please visit here!
The beginnings of this illustrated world started coming together when I began working with a 77 year-old gardener down the block in the summer of 2020. I loved the way he lived, thought, and so wholeheartedly cared about his community and environment.
2020 was so rough and I watched how it manifested in the lives of the people around me, how it changed all of our mental health, and how strangely our actions communicated what each of us were dealing with at the time.
While trying to navigate what the year was throwing at my family and me, I found out this gardener was suffering with dementia. His garden and his love for it were the only things holding him together.
During all of this, I found out one of my students in Hong Kong had a father who played the handpan beautifully. We decided to collaborate and I listened to his music while meditating on mental health and the conversations I'd been having with people surrounding it. It was like the whole illustration flowed straight out of his song.
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