I am, because we are."
Meet Ana - a talented visual artist with a passion for graphic design, fashion photography, and film. She finds inspiration in the beauty of fashion, art, people, and psychology.
Ana's journey began in Maputo, Mozambique, where she was born. She was adopted by her Dutch family when she was just three months old. Despite the warm welcome from her family, Ana struggled with her identity as a black woman, making it difficult for her to love herself.
She sought help through various forms of therapy but found the most healing through the creation of (digital) illustrations. Her artwork allowed her to better understand and embrace her true self, ultimately leading to a realization of self-love and personal identity. Now, Ana wants to inspire and guide others to do the same.
TEAM: Ana Collectives.
MATERIALS: Print on Hahnemühle Paper & Dibond.
TECHNIQUE: Illustrations, graphic design and collages
IMPACT: Combination of her personal background seeking the empowerment of black women.
A DEEPER DIVE
Among her core values are celebrating the beauty of black women and promoting strength, love, healing, and empowerment. She works closely with other organizations to foster diversity and equality. Her message is clear: embrace who you are, stand in your power, and let your light shine. You are beautiful just the way you are, and I am is here to guide you towards self-loving and a brighter future.
1. How would you describe your art?
Bold, feminine, powerful
2. Something that shines for you, and why?
Inequality in any form. There is a lot of inequality in the world in every layer of our society and that touches me. That we live in a world where our ego dominates, where we look primarily to our own personal interest in any form. Don't get me wrong, because we need an ego because it also protects you from the lesser things in life, yet I hope we become more conscious of how we treat each other and treat each other. More truly listening to each other, our needs and acting on them from love, that would make the world a much nicer and softer place.
3. A question that moves you right now?
"What would you love to do?"
A question that will touch me forever. A coach once said this to me. This is my compass to guide life.
4. What part of the human face is your favorite?
5. Why did you choose illustrations and digital art as your craft?
It may sound a little silly, but I didn't specifically choose illustration and digital art as a profession. I have a background in Graphic Design and being creative has always been something I enjoyed. Drawing I used to do it, but never thought I rediscovered it during the pandemic. My hidden passion. Incredibly happy and grateful for it! 6. Where does your inspiration live?
Life experience, people and all-day experiences, art, poetry, and music.
6. When looking for yourself, where do you find her?
While illustrating or any kind of art making, in the mirror and meditation, singing and dancing!
7. What does community mean for you?
To me, a community means a group of like-minded, like-minded people with the same values as what I have and most importantly at all times, treating each other with respect and holding each other's values. Subconsciously we all live in a community or a bubble, it's just what you feel comfortable with. For me it's all about community, where you can and may be yourself, respect each other, and motivates and inspire each other, so you can be an even better version of yourself than you already are. We are there for each other during highs and during moments of low spirits.
Heart Opening Ceremony
Connecting with others
Illustrating puts me in a meditative state. This caused me to look at the pieces I had tucked away inside me such as about my adoption and self-love. I had to do something with this and I wanted to process and heal this. By illustrating I was able to embrace myself for who I am, I am good as I am. Among other things, a cacao ceremony at the time helped me reconnect with my heart and my heart's desires. During the ceremony I experienced peace in my head, deep relaxation but also insights and even more creativity and strength in myself, which made me live more in love and gratitude, which I wish for everyone!
The Cacao plant is considered a plant medicine and has been used for thousands of years for various purposes. A "cacao ceremony" is an ancient ritual originating from Central and South America and is considered the ultimate heart opener. In addition, raw cacao increases blood flow to the brain and is believed to have healing effects on the mental, physical and spiritual body. In Mayan culture, it is considered a natural medicine. It is also called "food of the gods" because it invites you to connect with your deepest being and the core of your heart. It detoxifies your body and soul and gives your immune system a huge boost. Out of respect for the culture and the history, my ceremonies will not be performed as they are from how they come from the culture, I will shape it in my own way, where I do use the ceremonial cacao. So I call it a Heart Opening circle or 1:1 Heart Opening Guidance Session, because I facilitate that as well.
These sessions are magical and that only from pure cacao. A medicine that has no hallucinatory effect but can have a big positive change on your life.
For me it is very clear which path I may walk and that is a very beautiful way of making art, in which I may create and inspire and besides that I also want to give something back. As I said before in the interview, I am aware of my ego and I know that it's not just about me and what I do, I also want to give something back to the world and to humanity out of love and that love starts with yourself, which is very beautiful with cacao.
Both a passion what makes together complete.