We have a special guest post this week from Caylin Yorba-Ruiz. Caylin is the talent behind the LunaYou illustrations, and we are proud to share her story.
During my time in undergrad, I began a rough, albeit wonderful, journey into adulthood. I began to confront an earlier traumatic memory that had since been suppressed by the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This awakening has changed my life in ways I had not imagined, and has given me the insight to the struggles that come with the experience of trauma. Most importantly, I learned the vast importance of community healing. While in school, I discovered a support group of young adults who had experienced similar traumas, I developed a much needed sense of belonging, and began my healing journey. Within this space, I recognized the value of communal spaces as catalysts for emotional growth and well-being. With a new self-awareness of my own well-being I was able to express my journey through art and graphic design. When I shared my art with my community, I realized art’s unique capacity to move the heart, empower the soul, and revitalize the mind. I was driven by the community that art could build, and I was pushed to further my pursuits.
Timelapse of Caylin Working on LunaYou Illustrations
The opportunity to create this type of work has allowed me to witness the transformation that can occur when art is brought into casual spaces and suddenly become places of empowerment. By bringing art into spaces for survivors of sexual assault and trauma to express difficult memories/feelings, we create a unified shared language for discussion of these topics not only with each other, but with family, friends, and caregivers as well. With this unification comes a harmony of perspectives, all of which may lead to individual as well as communal healing. Ultimately, I believe the art I create, made with purpose and faith, has a way of bringing communities of people dedicated to healing together.
Caylin created the LunaYou Coloring Sheets as a way for women to relieve anxiety by focusing the mind, and promoting a sense of calm.
I’m immensely grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with BIF in their creative process for LunaYou. I will continue to support and advocate for LunaYou as they provide communities like mine the space to feel supported, heard, and empowered. I cannot stress enough the importance of organizations like BIF or RISCA’s #RIarts movement in helping to remove the barrier often present within the arts and to make community art and healing an accessible resource.
I hope you are all safe and well and can utilize art to help make sense of this extraordinary time we are living through right now. May art remind us that we are not alone, that others feel the same emotions that we do, and together we can heal.
Caylin Yorba-Ruiz is a freelance empowerment artist based in Rhode Island. She specializes in print & digital media surrounding mental health and survivor advocacy.
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