Stamped cover


Alice Cao (Canada)

How the idea for your silent story was born?

Over the past few years, I’ve come across numerous stories of people facing judgment and misunderstanding because of their differences—whether it’s race, gender, illness, or even trivial things like hair color or clothing. It’s increasingly challenging to be our true selves in a society that often rejects what doesn’t fit its mold. My book’s title, “Stamped,” embodies this struggle against conformity and the fear of being “stamped on” for being different.

What's the story about?

In a world where everyone has the exact same hairstyle—perfectly blocky, perfectly 90 degrees—the main character disguises herself with a wig to fit in. But when her disguise falls off, revealing her rebellious, extra-curly pink hair, she flees in panic, desperate for a place to hide. In her journey, she meets rebels just like herself. Together, they find the courage to embrace their true selves.

Why have you decided to enter the contest?

I think a strong illustration should be able tell stories without depending on words. As an emerging illustrator, I want to challenge myself to depict a narrative using solely visual imagery. This contest offers a great opportunity for me to learn, experiment, and enhance my practice.


Alice Cao is an interdisciplinary artist, illustrator, and educator from Vancouver, Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Education (in Visual Arts) from UBC. Her work ranges from whimsical children’s illustrations and surreal paintings to dreamlike sculptures and film photography.

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