Being a year out of college and realizing that life is not what I had imagined, it was difficult at first, to think about the subject of Tribute 21’s Plate Challenge. Happiness is no longer rainbows and butterflies; instead, it is health insurance and minimizing carbon emission. Putting my cynicism aside, I considered Tribute 21’s idea of happiness, as something that “comes from interacting with people, nature, society, present and future.”
With the stress of job hunting and trying to grow up too fast, I had overlooked the little things in life. It takes bad times to truly appreciate the good. Through this challenge, I got reacquainted with the formula for happiness. Happiness does in fact come from being in good company, appreciating and respecting the gift of nature, learning from our diverse society, lending a hand in creating a better future; essentially, existing “in harmony with our surroundings.”
Harmony is balance, and balance is needed in all facets of life. Everything in nature comes in pairs, poisons and antidotes, day and night, rain forests and deserts. In human relationships there are friends and enemies, young and old, male and female. Concepts come in pairs, like yin and yang, heaven and hell, right and wrong. So with these ideas, I came up with the imagery of two peas in a pod, because, like peas in a pod, we exist in harmony as individuals on earth.
Within each pod are either opposites (nature & technology or evolution v. creation) that should exist in harmony in order for harmony; or they are pairs that compliment each other (rain cloud feeding the flower or members of the animal kingdom) that are already naturally in harmony. The peas in the pods are riding on golden waves that represent the flow of life. Yellow was a very conscious decision, because that color conveys warmth and happiness, rays of sunshine.
My hope is that this plate design communicates to children the importance of accepting all the different aspects of nature and society that make life special. I hope they look at my design and smile.