My name is Rasa Rihana Diamond and I am from Lithuania. I have been studying various things - such as Visual Arts, Communication, Social Psychology and Sustainable Design & Business. I would consider myself as an explorer of human relationships and their social environments.
I feel that I have never become a real grown-up. Instead I’ve become an eternal student. I study the world through the lenses of art. I often look at my weird drawings or objects and laugh, thinking that I should probably find a proper job and stop ‘playing around’. But life is much more exciting with art. You can be funny or make critical points or beautiful vases. It’s a language to express yourself and open a dialogue with others.
But most of all I’m just a human being. As everyone else, with the same need to love, to relate and find some sort of belonging.
LIFE IS FOUND IN THE CONTRASTS
A recurring theme for me is the difficulty of being yourself in society: The conflict between who you are and who you are expected to be. Growing up as a girl you quickly understand that things are divided into “ugly” and “beautiful”. For example, it’s almost an unwritten rule that as a woman you have to be beautiful. But if you dig into ugliness, you’ll also find beauty there - and a much more interesting kind - because life exists in contrasts.
You’ll relate differently to the world, if you see how ugliness also talks about beauty and how pain also talks about love. You’ll understand how precious life is and how everything is important. If you realize this it means that you also have to accept and fully love yourself, and that’s hard because we’re taught to love things only if they’re beautiful or “good”. But things just are. The hardest task is to just “be” and be you.
UGLINESS NEEDS A VOICE
In our social media world that pressure to be the “beautiful” version of yourself is even bigger. I keep asking myself: who am I now? Why do I feel shame? Being a woman, being an Eastern European, having anxiety and mental issues, the perfect facade is hard to maintain. So I try to talk about ugly and painful things, because they need to be voiced.
Art opens up conversations with people who feel a similar pain. It connects people and makes them feel that they are not alone with that emotion. That they’re normal. Even though “normal” is also a dangerous concept.
WE NEED EACH OTHER
I believe that true peace lies in accepting ourselves and accepting others who are different from us. We are so independent, that we forget that we need each other and we need to relate to each other. The moment you step outside your apartment, you are responsible for the people around you. I think people are starting to acknowledge how important our own individual voices are. We need to speak up if we see things that are not right. We are responsible for each other’s happiness, health and wealth. We are one connected consciousness in the world.
PROGRESS IS COMMITTING EVERY DAY
Carrying kindness means understanding that nothing comes without effort. We have to put an effort into having critical conversations with ourselves and others. Accepting this is homework for all of us. True progress should not be measured in the perfect outcome, but in you trying your best and committing every day.