Age: 23

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Generation: 4th - Yonsei, 5th - Gosei

Biography: Ridge Hirano is a character designer and storyboard artist. He attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts and graduated with a degree in Animation and Digital Arts. He was a production intern at Cartoon Network working on Close Enough during his Fall 2017 semester and a semifinalist for Nickelodeon’s Artist Program in the storyboard track. 

Name of Piece: Waverider

Fighting off the negativity in your life can be hard. For me, mental health is about being thankful for the things I have and using them to combat the obstacles that life throws at me. Last year was a hard year for me. I had a lot of self-worth issues and transitional growing pains during the tail end of last year, and I let it take over me and manifest itself in anger and frustration. To combat this, I tried to spend time with friends and loved ones and focused on putting my mental and emotional health first. Some things that were able to take my mind off of those stressors include watercolor painting, listening to video game soundtracks, and petting my roommate's dog, Farley. So far, this year has shown tremendous improvement in my overall happiness and mental health. No matter how you cope with depression and anxiety, it's important to show gratitude for the things that keep you going. Being thankful for your friends or for time to yourself can help a lot when the stresses of life try to bring you down. There are always peaks and valleys in life, and it's vital to know how to ride those waves.