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Life on Lockdown: ‘Using my art to spread positivity’ – LaVana

The Coronavirus lockdown isn’t easy on anyone…But in this series, we take a look at the positive ways in which some across the community are spending their time on lockdown. Let’s continue to keep those affected by the Coronavirus most in our thoughts.

LaVana Colebrooke, The Bahamas, Wuhan ​

‘My message to China and everyone affected by this is: “Keep your head up and don’t be discouraged. Keep your spirits up and fight on!”

LaVana tells us that instead of adding to the hysteria across Social Media, she’s doing her bit to motivate those affected by the outbreak, and the doctors working their hardest to contain it. A PhD student at Wuhan’s Huashi University, in her spare time she’s a talented artist, inspired by the world of anime. 

‘My recent #武汉加油 art is inspired by the coronavirus outbreak and is dedicated to spreading awareness and positivity. A lot of people are living in the unknown and fear, causing stress and other emotional ailments. I wish to spread hope and positivity, to bring light into dark areas through my digital art.

I first started with a picture of a blue-haired girl wearing a mask, focusing on the key points they were saying to protect yourself at the time: washing hands, wearing masks, and staying indoors. Then as February rolled around, I thought why not spread some love for Wuhan and started the #wuhanlovenote.

This one focused on saying something good and uplifting. I then went on to share that message on social media platforms. So far, it’s been received very well!

Wuhan fight on!

Find out more about LaVana below

I hail from the lovely islands of The Bahamas and that is where my drawing started. I’ve been a crafty person since a young child, but when I was in my pre-teens I got exposed to anime and manga.

With my sister and our best friend, we wrote our own stories, taking a lot of inspiration from the natural beauty of the beaches and local folklore. When I entered high school and college I continued taking different mediums of art, from poetry to theatre, to literature and spoken word. This is also when I started to do digital art, way before it got popular and became a major industry.

Currently, I live in Wuhan, China and being under lockdown has done wonders for my art. Personally, I am always looking for new tricks and skills to improve my art and would spend hours learning. Now with the lockdown, I can spend days learning! I’m very comfortable at home and with no classes, I spend half of my day writing my thesis paper and the other half drawing.

Now, with my art skills and tablet, I turned it into a creative art business and created FANGiMATION.

FANGiMATION is a creative art business and our mission is to “illustrate your story”. Be it on blackboard or a page in a children’s book, or a sweet message to our dear Wuhan, we help to convey your story and touch the hearts of others. And since our art is digital, it can be sent anywhere in the world – as long as you have an internet connection!

To keep up with LaVana’s work follow her on Wechat (KeWana23), and Instagram and Weibo (@fangimation) where she continues to post her encouraging artwork

Editor’s Note: Since writing this piece and in the time it took to be released LaVana has left Wuhan, however, she continues to post her inspiring artwork to motivate her 2nd home.

 

What do you think?

Written by RunakoCelina

Runako Celina is the co-founder of Black Livity China and an avid content creator. Her writings have been featured on CGTN, ChinAfrican magazine and SupChina, amongst others. She holds an MA in International Politics from Peking University and currently lives and works in Beijing. She frequently writes on cultural continuation in Caribbean enclaves across the region, as well as exploratory research pieces on the African presence in South East Asia. Her latest research project ‘The Batek’, details Batek (Afro-descendant, original peoples of Malay Peninsula) history and cultural practices having spent two weeks living with two separate Batek communities belonging to this ethnic group. Her interest in the unification of the entire African and African diasporic community has since led her to branch into the world of social enterprise and cultural exchange, intent on bridging the gap between these communities. A language enthusiast, Runako is fond of the study and promotion of African languages having studied Swahili and Yoruba during her graduate studies.

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