The Beautiful Trouble Award, supported by OCAD Faculty Association, recognizes a student who courageously advocates for social justice and material change in defiance of structural and systemic inequality and the powers that uphold the status quo. This award recognizes changemakers’ activities on or off campus.

Award winner Blake Reategui with OCADFA Acting President Cliff Caines

Award winner Blake Reategui with nominator Suharu Ogawa

This year’s nominees were: Suhaib Bamaarof, Blake Reategui and Jugraj Khinda. We thank Suharu Ogawa, Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track, Illustration, Faculty of Design for nominating Blake for this inaugural award!

Highlights from Blake’s Artistic Practice:

The Bride was a Boy Comic Essay (2023)

Digital, Blake Reategui

I submitted this comic essay with a focus on Chii’s The Bride was a Boy (2016) graphic novel and its impact on me as a queer, trans person of colour for my Contemporary Illustration class last year. In the comic essay, I discuss how furiously colonialism continues to this day—how as gender-diverse people, even in the imperial core, are heavily policed. In this piece, I tackle this in scrutinizing how bureaucracy is the tool for stifling and robbing gender diverse futures across racialized diasporas, how even in the imperial core, our “normal” is to have our liberation, meaning real love and care for each other, constantly denied.

ill get you back (2023)

Digital, Blake Reategui

This piece was submitted for the OCAD Traverse BIPOC Zine—at the time I created this, I channeled my resentment towards conditional ideas of liberation surrounding violence towards our oppressors and colonizers. How, in the face of being dressed up and allowed a seat at the table (if only to placate the egos of oppressors), I will never abide by ideas that serve colonialism. I am never abiding by the high road or rising through the ranks of institution, so as to ensure no one else has to sacrifice who they are just to be heard and then silenced when we say the things oppressors don’t want to hear.


Blake (they/them) is a current fourth-year Illustration artist who strives to create beautiful art and take their sweet time in the process. They are a disabled, queer, trans, artist of colour who tries to tie every assignment to one of their special interests one way or another. That usually involves desserts, video games or ballet, but expect them to scathingly criticize colonial-capitalist society when asked. Look forward to what’s sure to be a surge of riso art in their work!!