The brain behind “shinrasblog” is intelligent, passionate, and charismatic. Their three projects were very compelling, and, if I had been active and present in class, their work probably would have made a huge impact on my understanding and respect for the texts. The thought that went into their projects transforms their schoolwork into honest, genuine artwork. Their creative process and products are compelling to me — so compelling, in fact, that I was inspired to devote a whole essay to appreciating their work. Note: They have been open about their gender fluidity, but I do not know their preferred pronouns, so I will use they/them pronouns throughout this essay.
Shinrasblog’s first project comes straight out of the gate with creativity and thoughtfulness. They focus a lot on the constraints of society, especially for Black people and other groups who have been enslaved and forced to live as if they mattered less than they do. The reason “A Symbol Worth a Thousand Words” works so well is firstly because the quotes and photos match pretty perfectly. It must have taken a long time to choose what quotes could be represented by photos of things around their home. The second reason the project works so well is because most of the photos share a common theme of nature being engulfed by some man-made tool of supression and/or oppression. The tree with lights wrapped around its branch, the cat in a collar staring at a closed door, the planters being held together by scraps of metal — it all sends a psychological message of trying to exist and grow while living inside these restraints and limitations. Shinrasblog makes a lot of interesting connections between their photos and quotes from the text, demonstrating their understanding and extended thought about the literature and how it maintains a place in our society.
Shinrasblog’s second project was the first one I’d seen when starting to make up my comments. The poetry was inspiring; after reading just the first poem, I wanted to put down the schoolwork and write a response poem of my own. I had commented that I’d learned the more specific you are in your writing, the more generally and generously it will apply to readers. The poems in “On the Topic of Unessay #2” covered a lot of bases in the transition between adolescence and adulthood. I acknowledge that shinrasblog and I have experienced different sets of adversity, but their poetry made me feel seen, understood and spoken for. “On the Topic of Purpose,” was my favorite because it has more of a stream-of-consciousness style to it, and the experience of reading it was like an echo of my own daily thoughts. Anyone reading this collection of poems can feel the emotion and the substance of the writer — they are not empty words by any means.
Shinrasblog’s third project “Koharu Deserved to See Cherry Blossoms” absolutely blew me away. Starting from surface-level of the project, the artistry is just ridiculous and amazing. I believe I remember reading that they had a hard time creating the doll exactly the way they wanted, but their final product is so much more impressive than anything I’d be able to do. Moving deeper into my appreciation for this project, I found it inspiring how they dug into the research of bunraku dolls and Japanese courtesans. I am aware that they are a fan of Japanese art and culture in general, and their respect for the smaller details made their appreciation for Japanese art almost tangible to readers. Shinrasblog’s quotes in this post show how actively they read The Love Suicides at Amijima and how much attention they gave to the details, like when they quoted that the sash is meant to be the color of “fresh violet.” The love, effort, and dedication put into this project is so beautiful to me, and I believe it reflects the great power of shinrasblog’s mind and character.
From my point of view, shinrasblog is absolutely an artist in the most genuine sense of the word. Art isn’t about creating something that is pleasing to the eye; it’s the breath of life that transforms an inanimate piece into its own bona fide experience. Art has real, human impact despite its two-dimensionality, and it’s so admirable that a classmate of mine can make me feel real emotion with their art, even through a screen. This review of their work is my way of sending them a thank you note, with the hope that they feel recognized and acknowledged for their talent, creativity, and thought. Thank you, shinrasblog, for sharing pieces of yourself with us through your artwork!