I'm a mixed race Māori, who is very fair so people often assume I'm Pākehā. As a kid, growing up in Gisborne I was so accepted for who I was i.e Māori and all the Māori I saw were brown so I didn't realise my skin color was different. I distinctly remember painting this and realising there was only one shade of brown. I asked my teacher for another shade so that my my hair and skin wouldn't look the same color. I ended up having to use yellow for my skin. Drawing the moko kauae made the painting feel more me and also showed the world who I wanted to be when I grew up. I was, and am, so proud to be Māori. Growing up in Gisborne gave me that pride.