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San Diego artist shines light during pandemic through art

Art was an escape and a passion.
Bernice Sioson
Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 23:35:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - — A San Diego native is using art to stamp out hate and spread positivity during the pandemic.

Artist Bernice Sioson has been drawing since she was a baby, "My Lolo... My grandma's brother who took care of me taught me how to hold a pencil."

Art was an escape and a passion.

Just after high school, a friend gave Sioson a "positivity journal" encouraging her to only write positive messages inside.

"I feel like all of it is very much inspired by the message I want to tell myself and other people because I have lived with anxiety and depression for a really long time." Sioson said.

She took those messages and transformed them into art, opening a virtual stationary shop during the pandemic, inspired by her experiences growing up.

"It was so cool seeing all the San Diego made stationary in stationery shops here. I actually worked at a stationery shop here at one point and I just didn't know where to start," Sioson said.

The pandemic gave her time to find her starting place and launch the store. Scrolling through her virtual shop, you see those messages on "Stay Motivated" stickers and magnets, or "You Are Gonna To Be Ok" on a car air freshener.

"So all of this like stay motivated, you got this, that's all stuff I need to hear myself and it's nice to see it too. Those little air fresheners I have one in my car and I look at it and I'm like, 'You do got this Bernice!'" Sioson said laughing.

Tough, the pandemic has been hard. Her anxiety worsened over the past few weeks during a rise in Asian hate.

She told stories of her friends being harassed on the street, "people walking by going Ching Chong, and pulling their eyes, and saying go back to your country." She and her grandmother have been staying inside for fear of being attacked for the past few weeks.

"I have gotten some mean messages from strangers, probably because you know I am Asian," Sioson said.

Sioson hopes to stamp out hate with her artwork.

"I just want people to look at my art and be like, "Wow! This makes me really happy." It's like a little package of joy," she said.