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Illustration by Jesus Roman Soroa

This art piece is one of my first. I usually don’t draw big pieces like this, but I wanted to give it a try and am pleased that I took the time to actually complete it. I’m most proud of how the shading inside the rose pops out. I was inspired by “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” a book of poetry — and also the name of a poem — by Tupac Shakur.

I want people to perceive hope and optimism when they look at this drawing. Everyone goes through hard times in life, but in those moments when we feel powerless, it’s important to see a glimpse of hope. In the midst of a dark world, I want people to make a connection with the rose.

Everyone deserves to be beautiful in their own way and feel accepted.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Jesus Roman Soroa is an artist and poet incarcerated in California.