The Future is Bright (2019)

Melanie Cervantes
22″ x 30″
7-Color Handmade Screen Print, Coventry Rag 100% cotton archival paper, 290gsm
Printed at Self Help Graphics by Dewey Tafoya and Oscar Duardo, Boyle Heights, CA, 2019
Edition of 63

After facing the possibility that my death would soon be coming, while in the early stages of my cancer diagnoses, I went through a period of serious contemplation about my life. I just turned 40 when I received a phone call informing me that I did in fact have neuroendocrine cancer. During this time I faced the my own history of trauma, pain and sadness as well as thinking about what gave my life true joy and purpose. This print allowed me to take a deep look at myself. The portrait is based on a photo of me in my first apartment in Oakland. This was the first time in my life I felt truly independent with a safe space and room of my own.

My greatest realization was the most important life goal I had, after cancer, was to live a long life and to reach elderhood. My vision is to be a white haired viejita sharing stories and wisdom gleaned from a meaningful life. Leaving a positive impression behind in people’s lives and perhaps leaving the world slightly better than when I arrived to it. This print which designed like a framed photo that allows me to see myself in all my complexity and contradictions. It lets me look back to a moment where I had all the possibilities in front of me and to remember that the future truly is bright.

The Future is Bright is my first self-portrait print.

Visit to read more about the process creating this print: