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Joshua Ganyon

Goat of the Year during Year of the Goat

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REFUGEES WELCOME

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INTENT

I wanted to create a pin that would inspire change. I am deeply moved by the struggle that refugees face. It must be incredibly isolating to be forced to leave home, possibly leave behind your loved ones and try to build a life from the ground up as quickly as you can all on your own.

This pin isn't simply political statement, but is also a way for refugees to easily identify people who would  readily assist them in the day to day struggles they face in a new culture and while using a new language.

PINSPIRATION

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I love the blend of realism and simplicity in these pins. Not too many colors and rather straighforward.

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This pin makes great use of color! The geometry and symbolism are very attractive.

SKETCHES

I made several rough sketches on lined paper of various elements juxtaposed together. I played with lots of symbols: lotus flowers, birds with olive branches in their beaks, human faces and peace lillies. The peace lily started to resonate with me and I came an inch away from making that my pin, but it was missing emotion and a message - and I feared it looked like the type of thing you buy for Nana and she never wears.

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I gave it one more shot and I found the perfect metaphor - free birds making a home in peace laurels. I would use patriotic colors and add a ribbon to encompass the design. Everything aligned very well and was composed of simple geometry as I found in my inspiration.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

I'm so pleased with the result and very inspired by it! I'd can't wait to share these with many people (in particular the volunteers at the IRC where I'll be volunteering). I'm happy I spent a lot of time up front during my sketches and respected the process rather than completing a design I wasn't so enthusiastic about.

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