The Head and the Heart

Artist: Deb Tjoa
Age: 46
Location: San Francisco

Description: My drawing uses acrylic pain pens and pencil on cardboard and borrows from Zentangle patterns. It pictures vibrant and colorful hearts, flowers, and leaves emanating from a person’s mind on a backdrop of black, white, and gray. Personally, I enjoy inhabiting the intersection of design and development, the artistic and analytical, color and grayscale, creative and practical, strategic and tactical. People contain multitudes, but often I find that folks favor one or the other. In my career and personal life, I like to be a liaison, the bridge in between, and provide the counterbalance when a group tends to lean one way or another. In this spirit, this drawing shows the mind—usually the hub of introspective, analytical thought—bursting with love for others and appreciation for our environment and the world around us. It’s all within each of us in varying degrees. When we embrace these intersections, we appreciate others’ perspectives and struggles. To me, that’s where we find peace: good communication fosters understanding, understand fosters kindness, kindness fosters peace.

How we create peace: Listen more. Take time to understand problems before implementing band-aid solutions. Make good decisions. Prioritize people over profits and timelines. Recognize that it takes all kinds of people with different abilities working in different roles to have a successful society. That all comes down to education of our children, and constant re-education as adults.

Vision for a brighter future: I’m a bit of a Star Trek fan. The world of the Federation, where all races and genders are treated equally, health care and education are considered rights, disease is eradicated, science is respected, all trades and crafts are valued, resources are used wisely, poverty and hunger have been eliminated, and there is a moral and ethical code in dealing with all species, is my idea of a bright future. In the real world, I’d be happy with taking steps toward a more just and egalitarian society.

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