After a breakup, the last thing you might want to do is describe it to a stranger, so she can document it for all time. But when Debby Woo hears about your breakup, she transforms it into art.
The 26-year-old artist has already published two books of her art, Debby Woo's Love Encyclopedia and Debby Woo's Handbook for Healing a Broken Heart. She takes the details and emotions around people's broken relationships and turns it into something beautiful.
Her art isn't just about finding the beauty in pain. It's about making people see some of their problems in a new light, so they can find a deeper meaning and sense of self from the lessons they've learned in their past relationship.
Debby is starting a new project called Insecure Asian Girls. Inspired by four Asian girls she follows on Instagram, her art documents a moment in their life that encapsulates their relationships.
Originally, Debby was inspired by these girls looks alone, but she didn't want to do an ordinary portrait. In an interview with i-D Debby explained, "I wanted to draw their faces but not as a normal portrait, so I asked them a list of questions about their relationships: how easy it is for them to feel safe when they're in love? How they get through a break up? And I used their answers as elements and inspiration to finish the illustration."
Insecure Asian Girls is a great project because it focuses on the beauty and intricate inner life of a very neglected group. Asian women in media are usually reduced to fetish objects and the occasional geisha. The chance to give these women a full life that goes beyond, but still celebrates their heritage is something we desperately need.
Now, after all her work with broken relationships, should we be worried about Debby's love life? No way! She's perfectly happy, just fascinated by wide array of feelings that accompany relationships. "I like to observe and I don't easily feel safe in relationships, so I think this is why my projects are always about relationships," she told i-D.
So, if you're crying into a pint of ice cream after a break up, see if you can talk to Debby. She'll turn your pain into beauty and might help you realize that the breakup wasn't such a bad thing after all.