We loved working with Yi on this exciting project, and we are thrilled to have her and her wonderful artwork at this year’s 2019 National Conference. Thank you, Yi, for your awe inspiring artwork.

My name is Yiqiao Wang. My name sign is Yi – Deaf colleagues at Gallaudet University and in the Deaf community know me as Yi.

I love studying Deaf signing and handshapes in ASL. Handshapes are very fascinating to me. I can catch their movement, and give them emotion. As I look at the beat or rhythm of a sign, I study its handshape and the ASL structure. With all of these elements, signs can be both simple and complex!

So, I am Chinese, I grew up in China. I want to show you a piece that I created for Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig. You see how I incorporated the sign for pig in the image. I drew the hand separately and then combined it with the drawing of the pig.

I start all of my artwork with sketches. That is where I can just put down all of my ideas and create a vision for the piece. There are no limits in sketching, I can freely express myself.

A big part of my artwork is the textured surface that you see in the lines and shapes in the image. I test different colors and play with the design to enhance its texture.

RID’s 2019 National Conference theme is [signs: Come Together, Work Together, Thrive Together]. When I first saw this theme, I thought, wow! What beautiful movement. The hands come in, go around, then shoot off, they move forward. It’s like something is there, in the future, that we hope for and we set a goal to get there. We have to work hard to reach that goal.

The hands come together, then accelerate forward. Not as individuals but as a group – we are unified, connected. Dreams can come true. We just have to work as a group – together there is strength.

The shape of the design relates to movement, for example, looking at speed. You can see where the sign is moving as the color changes with its directionality to full yellow. In this first draft, the signs were placed from top to bottom. But then I realized the movement made better sense going up.

Here are the three signs – come together, work together, thrive together. See how the first sign is not really connected with the other two. I considered this and tried to figure out a solution that would help the theme look unified. Here in the final draft, you see how the angle is changed to achieve that connection. By looking at it a different way, I could better emphasize the movement of the theme. You can also see the colors go from dark to light, which naturally indicates the direction of the signs. So, the signs go in, then around, then shoot off. It is so critical to preserve the movement because ASL itself has movement.

This logo was the first time I used a lighting effect. It was a bit of a challenge for me but I wanted to show where the hands were leading, so you can see yellow added in the fingers to show that we are continuing toward our goal. The light doesn’t just stop but kind of radiates.

People with new ideas who collaborate together will succeed – and there you have it!