1st Upload

tracingartifactts-1uthdenFor my tracing artifacts project, I created three symbols based on drawings of three objects: a stuffed animal, waxing strips, and birth control. The three objects symbolize parts of being a teenager, specifically how I came into my skin and became more independent.

Throughout high school, I struggled to obey and maintain a steady relationship with my parents while also finding my independence through rebelling. I wanted freedom and they struggled to let go of me the way I wanted them to. Like my parents, stuffed animals were something I once heavily depended on, but specifically to feel safe when sleeping. Stuffed animals were also just a staple in my childhood room. In my project, the stuffed animal symbolizes the childlike innocence and dependency that I began to shed and my parents seemingly began to grasp on tighter to in my teen years.

In my early teen years, I started to grow upper lip hair. I never noticed it until one day in middle school my crush told me that I had a mustache. He made me feel like something was wrong with me. I told my mom what he said and she took me to the salon to get a wax. I started grooming myself regularly after that because it made me feel more confident about my appearances. Later in high school, I began to grow my upper lip, eyebrow, leg, and armpits hair out. It was uncomfortable at first but made me feel confident in a different way because I was owning more of my natural self and kind of rebelling against the conventional view of beauty. The wax strips symbolize my discovery that different things empower different people and that empowerment can be found in altering the way one looks.

As for the birth control pills, I feel that they are symbolic of becoming an adult woman and taking control of one’s sexual health. After watching the William Kentridge video, The Refusal of Time, I became interested in how my birth control packets hold time. They’re just like monthly calendars. When I finish a packet, I often think about how I’ve spent the month. It’s an interesting connection between time and womanhood.

The three symbols I created based on the objects include brightly colored layers of both organic and straight marks and shapes to show the beauty and complexity of being a teenager, specifically in finding empowerment.

Photo scans of three objects
Digital drawings of scanned objects



Three symbols made of extracted parts of digital drawings



Final layout

1 Comment

  1. mattisd · May 3, 2019 Reply

    Ha-Lan, Nice upload, I appreciate reading about the symbolism within your objects and connecting them to time.

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