Sense of Self

illustrated narrative | essay | book design

Sense of Self is a creative project designed while studying theories of globalization. I was given the freedom to choose both my subject and medium, so I created a storybook to explore cultural identity through the lens of biracial person. Examining culture across diaspora and notions of race in America is at the core of this project. The first portion of the booklet includes an illustrated narrative about a being that struggles to find its place among the sea and the land. The second portion of the booklet includes an essay on identity through a theoretical lens.

Fall 2020

Illustrated Narrative

This illustrated story is rooted in my experiences as a mixed race person and third culture kid. Within this book, a being struggles to find its place among the land and sea.

Flip through the story below ︎︎︎

The being has close ties to the water, but lives on the land. Those of the land believed that this being belonged to the sea, but those of the sea tell the being that it does not know their way of life. With this, the being fails to find its place.


Following the illustrated story, I wrote an essay on how social identity and personal identity go hand in hand.

Building upon lived experience and research, this narrative aims to explain that identity is not simple nor a stagnant way of looking at the self, but is a constantly evolving process.

Read my essay below or use this link for more accessible alternative text.

︎ Essay Link > readable pdf  


Various articles and resources helped form both my essay and illustrated narrative.

Identity by Karla Kaplan

Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration

W.E.B. Du Bois’s Double Conciousness

“Identity is not a set of fixed attributed, the unchanging essence of the inner self, but a constantly shifting process of positioning. We tend to think of identity as taking us back to our roots, the part of us which remains essentially the same across time. In fact, identity is always a never-completed process of becoming - a process of shifting identifications, rather than a singular, complete, finished state of being.”

― Stuart Hall