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Sahaja La’Akea Azure-vanLoon

Age Group (If you are a caregiver/family member please check Caregiver/Family Member)
Children: 12 and under

Artist Statement (include type of art, techniques & materials used, what it means to you)
I made this cross stitch by hand after sketching out an idea on paper with colored pencils. I used a lot of thread and cotton backing and sewed each square to create this whole piece.
I wanted it to be open to interpretation based on how you view it, and how you feel. My idea was at first, a guardian, like a warrior protector. It also became a mask, kind of like a Japanese Kubuki style, maybe a dragon. If you look at the piece upside down, it’s also an Owl with a sun medallion over its head. The more I worked on it and it grew, the more it became more things. It looks very different than my original drawing!
I felt the colors were bright and warm and strong. I like to make art that shows some kind of strong presence, like a totem or spirit guide or mandalas or other things that help me feel safe and inspire me.

Bio (include your age, tumor type and date of diagnosis)
My nickname is Saji, I’m 11.5 years old. In February of 2020 I was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma brain tumor in the middle of my brain. It’s been a hard thing to be so different from kids my age, but I’m grateful for my health and my family’s love and support.

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