By Jesus Hernandez
La Niña Extraña comes from Art Block Zine's Featured Artist, Jesus Hernandez on Volume 4, Issue 2. More work, as well as an interview with Angelica Castañeda. When asked what advice he would give to upcoming artists in his field, Hernandez replied:
"Don't be afraid and don't worry what others think of you. Keep pushing yourself to improvement and exposing yourself to the world. There's always going to be that one person who'll help you achieve your goals."
More of Hernandez's work and the full interview can be found on Art Block Zine's Volume 4, Issue 2 titled Processing.
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By Fox Reyes
Foxcat is a drawing by Fox Reyes, submit and featured in Aurtistic Zine Volume 1 Issue 2 titled Perception.
Aurtistic Zine is open to artists with autism and their families. To learn more about Aurtistic Zine, you can visit their page here.
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By Jeremy Arias
These past few days have felt like the script of a poorly written movie. Unfortunately, there’s a deadly virus spreading across the globe and the world’s leaders are the most incompetent, greedy, egocentric mobsters robbing us of our democracy and health.
Our best course of action according to doctors, the news, and everyone everywhere I go, is social distancing. While this might sound like government mandated depressive symptoms in an Orwellian novel, its long term effects may not be so different. We might have to sacrifice a piece of our mental wellness in the name of our physical well being.
As an introvert, a part of me likes the idea that I don’t need much of an excuse to stay at home, read a book, or even squeeze in some time for a video project and writing I’m working on ;) The world has told me that it’s the healthy thing to do. I could be a danger to others, and they can be a danger to me.
My college classes have been moved online, which means I don’t have to worry about waking up early for school, I can just stay up for the rest of the night and finish a month’s worth of work in a couple hours.
The market is no longer crowded, sure there might not be much on the shelves, but at least everyone’s butts will be clean when they finish all that hoarded food. The massive polluter known as the airline industry is rumored to go bankrupt after a few months of this behavior, and businesses are finally finding efficient ways to let their employees work from home.
People are demanding human rights as the virus highlights many of our systems flaws. As fear of the virus grows, so does the public’s concern with health, covering their cough, washing their hands, and spreading awareness instead of germs.
While it’s recommended to be socially isolated or self quarantined, it’s important to remember to engage in some social activity to maintain psychological wellness. There’s other ways to maintain a good social functioning, even if you’re getting tired of the people already at home.
Call or text a friend, this virus isn’t a downloadable one disguised as a cute dog video, so call a friend and see how they’re doing. Play with a pet, I read recently that dogs couldn’t contract the virus, so you’re safe to keep your four legged friend close as you stand guard against the virus. If people and animals are scarce, talk to plants!
Now is an especially great time to have a garden. As the market shelves were clearing, I was thinking about the lettuce and tomatoes I planted months ago. Having a source of food growing in your backyard is beneficial not only in times like these, but any time. Growing plants is another way of bringing life into the planet, and if you take care of your plants for long enough, they will take care of you.
It is psychologically satisfying to watch plants grow, and talking to your plants gives them air to breathe. Plants breathe in carbon dioxide, the stuff we breathe out, so as you talk to your plants, you give them a breath of air, and they listen to your vents.
Remember that while we may feel physically disconnected, we are all just the push of a button away from each other. It’s tests like these that make us stronger and more prepared for the future. We may be isolated, but this is a social isolation. Stay safe, stay connected, and stay healthy!
By Tanya Sotelo
This issue's theme Advocacy was a bit harder for me than anticipated. It turns out I wasn’t the only one struggling. When talking to Kiwi (Fox’s big sister, and no that is not her real name, but the nickname agreed upon by her and her brother) we were both at a loss for what she could do for her submission for the zine. I asked her a few questions of times she felt she had to advocate for her brother at home or out in public and thankfully we could not find a single instance of when she had to stand up for him due to mistreatment or ignorance from the others. Save for one incident in a restaurant last year that I handled. Fortunately, there was no big brouhaha it was a few seconds and then we just went about or day.
We discussed the future and what we could do to support Fox when he needed it. Fox has a very strong character and he does not have an issue telling people no or refusing to do things he does not want to do so she doesn’t feel she ever needs to speak on his behalf. A lightbulb went off in my head. I told her my idea and she was as enthusiastic as a 15 year old given an extra assignment would be. I kid she was on board with the idea. Without giving the whole thing away let’s just say it is centered around the idea that sometimes advocating for others is to allow them to speak for themselves whether it be verbally or in any chosen medium.
Image by Adolfo Reyes, Aurtistic Zine's Art Director
By Melina Chavarria
We have been actively working on getting the word out there about the next issues of Aurtistic Zine. We decided on the theme of Advocacy because we know first hand as mothers of children on the spectrum, that there are many challenges we face. Everything from advocating for services at home, accommodations and resources at school, to having people just see the humanity in our children. To not just see the Autism or the label, but the individual behind it.
We’ve been on Autism Support group pages, talking to parents, asking them to share their stories, and I can’t wait for all of the submissions to start coming in. I see the posts, I hear you share stories about how you fight to make sure your child is included. How you work to re-educate your families and other people in the community about Autism and trying your best to change minds and open hearts.
Some of these stories are hard to read, but they are the reality of the obstacles that we face. Even though we have made so many strides as an Autism community in opening doors for our kiddos, we still see daily examples of work that still needs to be done to ensure these individuals have access to resources, and more importantly that they are treated humanely.
I read post from parents of newly diagnosed children, that are just overwhelmed and terrified for the journey ahead of them. I want to encourage these parents, and tell them that they are exactly the parent their child needs. There will be days that we will get tired and even feel burned out, but we can’t give up. We must rest, reflect and get back in there, because Advocacy work is never done.
The content displayed here is submitted by various local authors, artists, and more, and is curated by the DSTL Arts Art Block Zine–Editorial Board. Works published here are done so with the permission of all artists involved. Artists hold all rights to their work, and none of it may be reproduced without their permission.