Recognizing the humanity in ourselves will help us to recognize the humanity in others.

When was the last time you paused to consider the stories behind each face you see on a given day?

Science and technology shape our daily lives — we have the technology to connect anywhere and anytime, and our computers have facial recognition, but they don’t have the ability to learn the stories behind those faces. With all the gadgets tech has given us, most people spend more time on phones or computers than in real conversations; we are so focused on the next thing that we are missing millions of moments to share with the people who surround us. We’re missing out on the very essence of living fully!

Discovering just one person’s story — just a second of eye contact, a shared smile in passing, or a simple gesture of kindness can be enough to cause the intersection of two people’s stories, and the effect of that true connection is displayed on their faces as they continue on their way.

I love the stories behind every face. Faces are a canvas of emotions, and offer us the opportunity to feel connected each time we are brave enough to look, and really see, one another. Also, if we have the courage to be expressive and vulnerable, doing so opens the door for us to be fully seen. The universal law of familiarity (allows us to see ourselves even in strangers, and to bridge the gap between each other regardless of age, race, gender, or economic status. When you look into eyes of a person, their facial expressions, body movement you see their humanity come through, and you see that we’re all the same.

I started painting faces when I was five, and my fascination with the authenticity, rawness, and depth of the stories each face contains — only gets stronger with time. While studying these human emotions as shown by faces I paint, I’ve learned that there is no room for judgment; every story has a purpose — even if it’s not obvious at first.

My journey with faces has helped me to discover how powerful self-expression is, and how finding the power in our own story is something that all of us desire on a deep level. What emotions do you wear on your face? What parts do you hide?

Your story reconnects you to your senses, and from this place you can re-imagine the world; see issues in new ways and be inspired to reach out for solutions… across countries, across languages, across cultures.

Let’s regenerate ecosystems and learn as humans to live within the boundaries of our planet. Artist — Mentor — Founder @ceicollective