Please welcome Jay Cho as a member of our community! His perspective and artistry inspires thought and reflection while also challenging social norms. When asked about his advocacy and passions, Jay made it even more clear that he is trying break the mold and create a world without limits for those of every size, color, race, or culture.
A little about Jay in his own words...
"My real name is Hyun but my friends and family members call me Jay.
I am 24 years old, born and raised in South Korea, spent my most teenage years until today in Southern California. I'm very excited to participate with an amazing group of artist for this event.
Thank you for this amazing opportunity for me to connect and share my work with the world"
Why do you create?
"Art is something I can feel, not what I see, hear, or taste. I want to inspire others through my work and deliver my story"
What serves your purpose?
"To be the best version of myself. Finding my identity as an Asian living in America was a very long journey.The media portrays Asians to look nerdy, less attractive and unwanted. Watching TV shows, movies and dramas, there was no one that looked like me so I couldn't connect with any heroes or main characters when I was growing up.
But in my head I always knew I was far from being nerdy, I disliked math, and I didn't play the piano. On top of all this, it's also a rare case to see Asians wanting to become a successful artist.
Eastern culture and where I'm from, they teach us that life is all about stability and having a stable salary job.
Through my work and my art, I want to be the example that no matter who you are, where you're from, which color of the skin you live in, listen to your heart because your heart knows what you need"
Jay's interview brought me to tears! Making your own expectation of yourself more important than the opinions of others and living true to yourself is the best thing we all could do! I think a lot of people can relate to societal expectation and stereotypes as a driving force of a lot of the decisions we make and prejudices we may have! It is important to challenge our own biases.
Thank you Jay, for bringing consciousness to our community in your own unique way!
We feel so honored and excited to have Derrik Diza from Disorganized Depictions as a part of our first Art for the People event! Derrik's values very much align with the Community Consciousness vision and mission, where business is meant to benefit the community and purchases are made with a purpose! We asked Derrik what he advocates for and why he creates as an artist.
He went on to describe why he pioneered his apparel company, and the vision he has for himself socially and professionally. He lives his life emphasizing the importance in giving back to his community.
"Disorganized Depictions is an art & apparel company rooted in philanthropy and creativity. The company creates original pieces and clothing that helps to support different causes. Some causes include helping fundraise for foster homes in Orange County, refugees in Yemen, and direct relief to the homeless. The company seeks to inspire creativity and instill awareness through its products and branding. Being involved in Art for People is a great opportunity to help us promote the general welfare for artists and the local community here in Orange County".
Sì Sono (being.) translating to “I AM” in the Italian language.
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Meet our featured artist of the week: Francesca Heinz-Marino, founder of the Sì Sono. “Sì Sono is an eco-brand based off Bali island. The line includes hand-crafted manifestation beads and bamboo utensil sets. The lava stones are ethically sourced from the abundant volcanoes surrounding the island... known to hold sacred energy. The bamboo utensils were created to raise awareness for our plastic epidemic and provide an easy solution for take-out meals. Live consciously and make an impact in the world with the gift of Sì Sono.”
As a unique and innovative thinker, it is no surprise that Francesca descends from a long lineage or artists. Creativity flows through her veins, marked by the precedent set by her ancestors. When the Community Consciousness Team asked her about why she creates, she thoughtfully stated, “I create for peace of mind, for stillness, for mediation. It is my way of communicating without having to speak words.” Communicating without words..how powerful and thought-provoking is that?
She practices what she preaches, living a plant-based diet and an all-around holistic lifestyle, actively striving to live a respectful and mindful lifestyle where she maintains a high regard for other living beings that cohabitate our planet. Service illuminates itself through and through with this creator as she talks about how healing plays a role in what she feels her purpose is. “My purpose is to inspire healing on this Earth & within the people who walk it. I am not a healer, each individual is their own healer. I simply hold the space in order to allow that transformation to unfold.”
As far as the future goes, Francesca encourages people to prioritize not only their health, but the health of our home here on Earth. She radiates a caring energy that unabashedly dares you to holistically care for yourself --physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually whether it be our government or our health practitioners. She may not consider herself a healer, but she certainly cultivates an environment in which you become inspired to heal yourself driven by your own autonomy.
To close, let us end with one more quote from our lovely artist: “ It is in our moral duty as stewardess’s of this earth and the vessels we have been given to respect it with love & care. I want my children, my grandchildren, and on to live abundantly ~ and it will take all of us rising up together to make that possible.”
Written by Community Consciousness Team Member: Sabine Wilson
For the past six months our organization has been working toward a goal of assembling one hundred hygiene care packages for the homeless community of Orange County. It started with noticing our surroundings and seeing that there was a need within our own community. Homelessness has been an issue in California for a long time and has only now received attention in the media because it has become apparent that the problem is only getting more dire. Our team wanted to make an impact, however small, on the homeless community in our own backyard. Thankfully, there are institutions like the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation that provide funding to projects that service those who are underprivileged and under-acknowledged.
Our organization started on the basis that we would craft environmentally and socially responsible hygiene products. like our soap and toothpaste, to benefit those in need. Community Consciousness had the dream of providing quality hygiene care such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and menstrual products to those who are experiencing life on the streets. The Blum Center was generous enough to provide us with the proper funding so that we could make this dream a reality.
Careful thought and attention went into what would go into these hygiene care packages. We took into consideration the quality, the environmental impact, and whether items were fair trade or local. The cold-process soap provided in each care package was made with organic oils, shea butter, and essential oils. The toothpaste included was made with xylitol, peppermint essential oil, and MCT coconut oil, all organic where possible. The loofah sponges and bamboo washcloths are completely biodegradable. The menstrual pads and tampons are 100% organic cotton and nontoxic. The Terra Thread pouches used are Fair Trade and provided by a local supplier, Gallant International.
We are hoping that in receiving these care packages, our community can feel cared for and loved. To a more privileged individual, hygiene care is not much of an issue, but to someone living on the streets it can be a struggle to keep up with personal hygiene. We have successfully distributed these packages to the homeless community that is supported by LOTS Ministries. LOTS Ministries provides homeless services such as free laundry, showers, breakfast, clothing, and more at The Crossing Church every Saturday from 7am-12pm. This care package project is our offering to our community. We are working hard to continue projects like this!
Below you will find a link provided by our partner Gallant International - if you would like to find out more about Fair Trade products, please visit their website!