“These Aren’t Cowgirl Boots”
I reminisce sitting at a Cornish pub, watching the summer sunset drip below the sea. Art students dressed in striking looks made simple by their infectious, relaxed personas, a bubbling of live music creating a melody with the clinks of our drinks, and the buzzed chatter of my friends mixed with everyone’s careless laughter bouncing around the bar.
The title was inspired by the thrifted boots my character is wearing in the piece, representing the distinctive style that I began to adapt during my time away from my Texas hometown. The statement shoes represent my unique journey away from the cowgirl boots and plaid shirt stereotype of Southern fashion, to the distinctive textile designs and vibrant colors of my current wardrobe.
“Bubble Bath Bonding”
I have never focused on so much self-care as I have during the pandemic.. After graduating and leaving all my friends and good memories in England, I was abruptly shoved into a world of isolation and post-grad depression.
One of the many self-care activities I did was take hot bubble baths… lots and lots of ‘em. I honestly thought I’d turn into some sort of Andy soup, but it helped clear my head from all the anxiety and stressful thoughts that were blinding me in those days. The aromas of the bath cradled me and reminded me that everything was going to be okay, that it was completely normal to feel this way. Over time, it slowly allowed me to see that if I kept hammering these worries in my head, my self-love would truly become a puddle of constant self-doubt.
Those meditative hours bonding with myself in the bubble bath resurfaced my thoughts back into love. The bath remains my sanctuary to breathe in the gratefulness I have for my body, my family, my friends, and the world around me.
I hope this piece reminds people to spend time and be gentle with their body, mind, and soul. The more you fall in love with who you are, the easier it will be to fall in love with everyone and everything around you.
My reflection design imitates Haein Kim’s “Untitled” water girl piece. Her art has been such an inspiration to me, and I really wanted to adapt the same bubbly look that her artwork has into my own practice.
The gushy heart seed I’m cradling in this piece represents my ever-growing self-worth, responding to the care and attention I’ve given it as a result of external hardships/changes.
That seed was planted in the lush gardens of Cornwall near the sea, of which I would be on the other side in just a few weeks. As I’ve found myself and learned to embrace who I am in an isolated and confining world, the plant extends its healthy stem and vibrant leaves and flourishes, reflecting my internal journey. The seed also represents a piece of my love that was left in England on those shores, for those shores, but through self-love and self-care, it has continued to grow in the United States, for myself.
Andrea Miranda is an international student graduate from the illustration class of 2020 at Falmouth University. She focuses on utilizing marks and patterns to tell a story. Andrea constructs her composition in a way that’ll make her designs have flow and movement, and add mesmerizing colors to best represent the piece.
More of Andrea’s Work in Mixed Mag: “Loodreams” (Issue 5)