Kabataan Magkaisa

Pen, ink and digital coloring. 2016.

I entered Anakbayan New Jersey’s art contest held in preparation for Kabataan Magkaisa, a national Filipino youth organizing conference. The contest’s prompt was simple:

What does Youth Unite mean to you?

I decided to create a t-shirt design inspired by Mao-era propaganda:

“A young propaganda troupe.” 1949. Source: US National LIbrary of Medicine.

The following is what my first draft looked like:

My submission came in first, although ABNJ did ask for a couple changes, namely to change the flag’s text and to include “some diversity in the people represented in [the]design (i.e. difference in hair type, skin pigmentation, body type, etc.)”. The challenge came in adding more diverse characters without adding extra colors to print, as that would hike up the price of the t-shirt.