Above are Violet (with, haha, violet hair) and Kate, from Nina Lacour and David Levithan’s book, You Know Me Well.
You Know Me Well focuses in on the lives of four LGBTQIA+ high schoolers in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily discussing the struggle against insecurity that many teenagers experience. Kate struggles to face and express her feelings towards her Internet idol and long time crush, Violet, instead channeling her emotions into her paintings. Violet travels from her home in Europe to finally meet Kate, but finds that Kate has a tendency to run away and shut people out when she gets nervous. Meanwhile, childhood best friends Mark and Ryan face a split in their friendship as Ryan meets a new boy and falls for him. Mark, heartbroken after enduring years of casual hookups and bottling his emotions, breaks down and begs for Ryan’s love. In the midst of the drama, Kate and Mark become close friends, and agree to help each other. Mark urges Kate to take risks, and she and Violet are finally able to build a strong relationship after Kate conquers her fear of rejection. Kate and Violet, in turn, encourage Mark to talk about how he feels with Ryan. Though Ryan explains that he doesn’t have romantic feelings for Mark, the two become even closer when Mark finally recovers from this rejection. This book acts as a great reminder to people of all ages, sexualities, and identities that they have the power to overcome their fears, and that the first step to recovering from heartache is being open to the possibility of change for the better.
This post (and this column in general) has come out of a long process of drawing, editing, and gif-making, in a repeating cycle. I’ve never worked with creating fanart before, so I’ve faced a lot of struggles with my artistic (as well as computer-maneuvering) skills. It’s been kind of rough.
In addition to the time I spent drawing and editing and generally creating, I spent a lot of time taking pictures to use as references for Kate and Violet’s arms and clothes. I mean a lot. Photo creds to my lovely friend Charlie, who volunteered as photographer-in-chief to aid my artistic ventures.
Finally, after two long weeks of drawing, coloring, and problem-solving, my hard work paid off! I’m so glad I have this chance to share my art and ideas with the Internet, and I hope I inspire some other people out there to get imaginative and make art of their own. Thanks so much for checking out my column and appreciating my hard work! See you in my next post about I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson.