My practice derives from my identity as a woman of color and my desire to shift the cultural stereotypes associated with that identity. The prejudices and discrimination I experience and the shared stories of women from my community lead me to seek change for how womanhood is perceived, and by extension, how women are treated. My artwork depicts female characters in a state of power, though my approach to the portrayal of these qualities varies within each painting. Some of my portraits are of real individuals proudly expressing their narratives, while others are invented headshots/abstractions that emphasize empowerment in womanhood instead of individuality. The portraits of real women strive to capture their stories, while invented portraits capture “an empowered woman,” minimizing indicators of personality. Each painting works with elements of portraiture such as posture, expression, and emotion. By consistently portraying female strength, I reject the identification of women as weak.