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Why do you wake up in the morning? Even in the most desolate of times, we can all find a reason. Humans are complex beings, often difficult to understand and even more difficult to convey. But I love them. I love the human connection. Whywake is a business that promises to be so much, but is starting with the process of allowing individuals to bring to life their story, their mind, their passions and memories. I want to remind people why they pull themselves from their sheets and begin their day and I want to do so through art. All people can be represented by color, light, texture, shapes…a plethora of images, including that one from when they were a giddy child selling lemonade to a giant Oak tree because they spent their college years finding refuge in its shade. Sometimes we all need reminders of what brought us joy and light along the journey of our life, and my collages will do just that.

Through open communication, photography, the exchange of images and capturing of emotion I will not only collage together a piece I feel is innately them, but I will use my platform to share their story - all the messy, beautiful chaos - so that others may find solace, understanding or inspiration on their own path. This is only the beginning. Whywake has been a passion project for nearly five years, and I see a future with it in which myself and the community I am surrounded by can ultimately open a deeper dialogue about mental health. Truthfully, if I can even bring light to even one person’s darkness, the whole project would be worth it.   

 

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Above, I've included an assortment of my work in which I have played around with photo-manipulation and collaging. Though my new project will be an evolved version of these styles, I knew it was essential to show my experience in this realm and my overall design style as it will pertain to Whywake. 

I love color. I love texture. I love finding a way turn the ordinary on its head, seamlessly combine elements that in the natural world might clash, and develop compositions out of countless tiny fragments. Though chaotic, I've often thought it was a method reminiscent of the
human spirit.

 
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so, how will this go?

Essentially, I would dive into the hearts of individuals willing to be a part of this. Through open dialogue, I would learn about them, ask them pointed questions and get to the heart of what makes them -them. If able, I would ask them to create a moodboard on Pinterest - one that resonates with their personality and experiences. This would include inspiration images, landscapes, colors, textures, etc. Through their own moodboard, I would be able to see them how they see themselves, which is crucial to creating their collage. 

Ideally, I would love to curate the images myself. This could mean doing a photoshoot with the subject, scanning in their own childhood images or incorporating some of their own photos from travels/memories, enhancing my illustration skills, developing my own stock image collection, etc. This would require me to be with the subject, wherever they are in the world. 

When finished with a piece, I would share not only the art, but with the subject's permission the story behind it. How does this represent them? What have they overcome? What are their takeaways? Why do they wake up in the morning? 

That question will drive this whole project. 

You see, Whywake has been the backbone of all i've done in my creative career. From getting to know all my clients on a personal level, to drafting out 30 pages of brainstorming for a Whywake magazine, to creating a pitch for a branding agency in which storytelling and mental health awareness are at the foundation - it's always there. I know Whywake is going to flourish into so much more than I can even understand now. But that's why this adventure excites me and that's why this first step is so crucial. I need to grow my network, my reach, and my online presence. I need to learn from professionals and mentors, entrepreneurs and creative geniuses. I am ready to grow this into everything I know it can be. 

 

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You can view my Whywake store, which I soft-launched this past summer, by clicking here

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INSPIRATION //

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I am inspired by so many artists and creators - down to even the most obscure instagram creator from Australia or that girl that sat across from me in Design 1. I don't believe you need to have a mass amount of followers or recognition to be able to impact. I have spent so much time perusing the work of various collage artists, making pinterest board after pinterest board, and most importantly - studying and researching all I can about mental health.

So why this idea?

I have had hundreds of conversations with close friends, classmates, co-workers and strangers about the vulnerabilities of their lives. So many people keep silent about their struggles with depression, anxiety, bi-polar and other illnesses because it makes them feel weak, they are afraid of judgment or they don't even fully understand it themselves. Though I have met so many different individuals with these struggles, one thing they all have in common in the thick of it is that one of the worst parts of their day is simply waking up. I often wish I would've learned way sooner that if I could just find one thing to make that part easier, my day would've been a little brighter. It could be finishing a chapter in that book you've been loving, watching the next episode of your favorite show, crafting a gift for your mom, trying to learn those chords that have been evading you, riding your bike - anything at all. There is no "one fix" when it comes to mental health. Our brains are different and what works for one person may not work for another. Whywake isn't striving to "fix" anything, it's simply to serve as a reminder to stay hopeful and inspired. To remember what you love and what brings you joy at your best, even if it feels incredibly far away. 

 

My collages, my art, my creating - I want it to center around this idea. I want to tell stories, I want to motivate, I want to do what I can to make others feel a little less alone.