A space where we all feel safe, heard, and seen. A space where expression is not limited, where our voices are allowed to be heard, and where we can find meaningful connections that we resonate with.
We caught up with Michelle Pasia, the founder of Strange Mercy, as she pursues creative storytelling despite unprecedented setbacks. "Last year, I was approached by Takeout to come up with a design for Wildflour as part of their initiative to support the restaurant industry amidst the pandemic." At a time of physical distancing, navigating art was not an easy feat. Yet she somehow pulled through when social reaching was maintained. “The Brunch Club” which depicted an outline of three women having brunch, to emphasize the value of being with friends — something that we’ve all sorely missed. The zoom calls and virtual hangouts have been nice, but nothing really replaces good conversation over a delicious brunch in the company of friends," she adds. If anything, the experience brought Michelle the chance to revisit or be exposed to never having witnessed scenes during the making process." As I was doing so, I found myself thinking more about the subjects involved — What are they thinking? What kind of conversation/s are they having? What is each person bringing to the table? It then occurred to me that I wanted to zoom in a little further on the conversation and the dynamic between the three women and so this added another layer to the entire piece."
With the artwork, Michelle reminds us that even less is more if breathed meaning into it. She cascades that she "wanted to highlight the feeling of gratitude for the instances we’re able to spend with the important beings in our lives and how we can be fully present in such moments. And in line with that, maybe a self analysis check on how our words, stories, and actions can impact our friends or our community as we constantly ask ourselves how we can bring added value to the conversation or to the group." The countless back-and-forths she found herself immersed into exuded beauty, even carrying the messy along with it. "Best part for me is when I reach the flow state because at that point there’s loss of resistance and complete submission to the process. When this happens, I find that I’m usually able to arrive at an endpoint that I am happy and satisfied with."
Fluidity and grace- this is where we bridge our narrative in the name of empowerment. Michelle shares "I’m happy to have crossed paths with Thea & Chem of LW&D Manila because they’ve been holding space for female creatives since 2017! What resonates most with me is having a solid support system and connecting with other women in the industry who share the same experiences." This is just the beginning of the long journey towards a story worth retelling.
2020 was the beginning of a new decade, a year that started out with much hope for a brighter future, a clearer picture of what's to come, and a vision of a world bustling with milestones to reach. It was also the year where we felt that everything was put to a halt. The question that begs to be asked is this: did the world really stop?
With the intimate conversations that turned into webinar-style catch-up sessions, even when what we are all used to start feeling impersonal, disconnected, we all tried to abide by what's safe and what's needed. Even when we felt that the magic has been lost due to the constant need to check if someone's microphone was not on mute, if the group can see the visuals, when time is much more limited because of everyone's busy schedules, it was a nuisance we all adjusted to. The space we held for silent, loud, victorious, shy voices to be heard felt lost.
Together, despite the obstacles, we ended up with a year of healing & growth.
Sisterhood is a bond that flows beyond blood. It's the connection our souls make with the people we start a conversation with and end up creating something new, meeting someone new, and knowing something new about ourselves.