'We Can Change the World' by Danielle Ramsay is the winning design entry of the 2021 USC Student Diary Cover Artwork Competition.
This year's Student Diary Artwork Cover theme was: 'Together we rise'.
Danielle's artwork entry will be featured on the cover of the 2021 Student Diary and may also be displayed at USC campuses in posters and publications throughout the year.
The Student Communications and Events team would like to thank everyone who submitted their artwork and everyone who voted!
This year’s theme, Together we rise, presents an opportunity to create a visual statement demonstrating success, diversity, and inclusion at USC. My design entry, We Can Change the World, draws inspiration from current social and political issues that directly impact inclusion, whilst at the same time celebrating the successes and diversity of USC’s dynamic students. The symbolically raised fist is central to my design, denoting a united community, standing and rising together in solidarity. Throughout history, the raised fist has been used to symbolise a number of movements from anti-nazi crusades, to civil rights, worker’s revolutions, feminist movements, LGBTQ inclusion, anti-racism campaigns and the current #BlackLivesMatter. Whilst often used as a symbol to represent defiance from oppressed groups, the raised fist can also be used in triumph, such as when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. The raised fist is an open symbol, without a specific connotation, and is therefore generic enough to be used by groups of different ideologies and diverse backgrounds. Universities are often a transformative space where social movements, social problems and activism unite students and faculty alike. Together we rise: We can change the world becomes an unspoken mantra for social change and inclusion on campus.
I have purposely used bright, unnatural skin tones to represent people of different nationalities. By not including colours that could be linked to a particular ethnicity, the illustration invites all viewers to see themselves within and connect to the image. This was an important aspect when designing We Can Change the World. All students should be able to find, or at least imagine, their own voice within the imagery. Confetti falling in the background is a nod to celebrating our successes, big and small. Students will have many ups and downs throughout their university degree, and sometimes success is making it to class when you have multiple assessments due, whilst at other times it might be achieving the grade you strived for. Whatever it is, it’s important for students to recognise and take a moment for these little (and big) successes. Doing so helps keep students connected and included throughout their studies.In creating the illustration, I have used a number of methods: both hand-drawn and computer-assisted. Again, this is a nod to the theme Together we rise. Life is imperfect and so are we. By juxtaposing imperfect line work with the more symmetrical shapes and aspects that can only be achieved through computer assistance, I am again inviting viewers to find a piece of themselves in the imagery. Even if the only connection is through one imperfectly drawn thumbnail, my hope is that students will find something to identify with the illustration, symbolising diverse backgrounds uniting for successful inclusion at USC. Together we rise. We CAN change the world.