We are living through unprecedented times, where most of us have been isolated en masse, forced to sit with ourselves in a way capitalism of the past denies us. Here we are, the same individuals: minus the repetitions of the day to day, and plus the looming existential dread of living through economic collapse, a mass extinction, the decline of American democracy, and now in the midst of a global pandemic and an uprising with the potential to reformat justice as we know it. Our inner worlds are louder than ever in the silence of our homes, and we have a choice between avoidance and radicalization. Through meditation on the objects and spaces around us, and exercises that conjure our subconscious, we will seek our personal mythologies. The fabric of our lives can be made of invisible threads, but by impulsive drawing and daily mindfulness, we can begin to see the characters and backdrops that contain us. Through self-portraiture, still life, visual journaling, and sequential art we will be exploring a method of storytelling that focuses on the relationship between the hand, the brain, and spontaneous images. In doing this we will begin to meditate on our relationship with ourselves and the world, at a time when our interconnectedness is more evident than ever.
Mara Ramirez is an artist, educator, and caretaker living and working in the Bay Area, California. They are a core founder of Freak Comics, an independent self-publishing Bay Area comics collective that curates, edits, and prints bi-monthly anthologies, as well as their own personal work. Their comics are mainly autobiographical, and concern matters of intimacy, trauma, and healing. They play with abstraction, color, and the action of mark making as a means of distorting (and in doing so, clarifying) their own experiences through the filter of emotion and memory. These stories range in content: existentialism, gender, and mental illness are some of the topics that have emphasis.