So when I started to make the manta rays, I wasn’t sure why I was drawn to making them, I came up with the designs myself and I can’t read sewing patterns, so most of what I make is usually something I come up with on my own, I see it like a puzzle challenge. I later found out that in some cultures manta rays are symbolic for understanding the flow of things around you, understanding the energy around you and accepting your own self. It then made sense as to why I was making them, I wanted to connect with people and give people something to comfort them in a way that hadn’t been seen very much. So I chose manta rays. Being able to float freely through the waters of life and understand the flow around you, it made sense to me. I try very hard to want to help people with mental health stuff, and knowing this about the manta rays after I started them, gave me some comfort to finally know their purpose.
My name is Erika, I go by Eri to my friends. I am Autistic and do have ADHD, I also have several other mental health challenges that I am dealing with daily, and some of those challenges are some serious topics. But One thing that has always kept me going and always seems to help me is having art as an outlet, no matter the form of art, no matter how I get to express myself. Art has been one constant support in my life that allows me to express myself and show the world beauty through pain. I’ve had my share of challenges in life, but I always believe in being kind to people, you never know the day someone is having. I’m sort of a jack of all trades when it comes to things I know how to do. I keep busy a lot because of my ADHD, and I do go nonverbal from time to time, this itself can be challenging, but its not the end of the world. I maybe nonverbal at times, but I am fully capable of understanding what you say. My goal in life is to just make a positive difference where I can and maybe one day make a positive difference in the world helping people through art.