This month’s theme was chosen by one of our viewers. The theme that she requested was Vietnamese Martyrs. My head drew a blank when I first heard this. I was not sure of what to draw that has not been drawn yet.
At first, I drew some sketches but found them unsatisfying. They have all been done before or it was nothing interesting. Then, I tried to draw inspiration from the LBM Dance that my Nghĩa Sĩ kids did. I drew another sketch, using a photo from the dance as a reference, but still found it unoriginal. Finally, I looked at the backdrop of the LBM stage. Although the Huynh Truong who did it put little effort into it because he wanted to do the bare minimum work required, the backdrop was straightforward and simple. That was what I liked about this backdrop. I drew inspiration from this.
Perhaps I was thinking too much into the words “Vietnamese Martyrs.” Maybe I needed to think simpler.
Right before the LBM performance for my Nghĩa Sĩ kids, I gave them a little prep talk about the colors they were wearing. Red and brown are the colors of the Hiệp Sĩ Khăn Quàng. The red represents the blood of the Vietnamese Martyrs spilled onto Vietnam’s land, which is represented by the color brown. I decided to somehow incorporate the Hiệp Sĩ Khăn Quàng into my drawing.
“If the Hiệp Sĩ Khăn Quàng basically represented the Vietnamese Martyrs, then I should draw that,” I thought. I wanted to show all the different kinds of Vietnamese Martyrs: priests, bishops, friars, non-clergy men, and women. I drew as many and as different as I can to show the different kinds of people who were martyred. Anybody, even ordinary people, can love Jesus Christ as much as they did.
I put the least amount of thought into this drawing, and yet it somehow had the most meaning.