Mara Louise Cespon

You’re Earth

I always wanted to create my own graphic novel from the time I was young. I really wanted it to be personal to me, so I pulled a lot of inspiration from my teenage years. When I was fourteen, my entire family moved to the United States. It was a turbulent time, full of adjustments to new places, new people, and new cultures.

During my first few months at an American middle school, I realized that my teachers and classmates belonged to different ethnicities. Each one of them had their own habits and cultures. This was incredible to me at the time because I was used to only Filipino classmates before I came to New York. I immediately found it extremely challenging to navigate social interactions.

I was always scared of the possibility that I might offend someone because I wasn’t sure what was acceptable to each unique individual. Almost every day, I couldn’t help feeling anxious, uncertain, and neurotic. The feelings carried on through my adult years. My visual thesis project You’re Earth conveys those same emotions, amplified on a much larger scale, in a science fiction and fantasy graphic novel.
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