Sunday, June 12, 2011

Interior Life From the Archives: Panther Rattler

And now for something completely different...well not really.  The next few drawings were from the same period as my other Interior Life posts from Trail of Bread Crumbs: Sunrise, The Old Blue Man, and The Well.  However, the ones I'm posting here have a definite darker edge.  Welcome to my dark corners.  (Thank you Garth Marenghi!)

When I created this piece and the ones that will follow, I was trying to find some kind of balance between my commercial goals for my art and my emotional needs for my art.   There has always been a therapeutic aspect to my work as well as it being a descriptive litmus for the current state of my life.  Selling that out completely to commercial control seemed ill advised...that and I'm sure I'll never be able to affordable a proper therapist.  So why throw away a perfectly good tool for self analysis and growth?!?  Instead I tried to blend the two by making my emotional works a little more commercially presentable.  I'm not sure it worked all that well in the end as I am currently unemployed, but what do you do?  LOL.  Ah Life!

My idea here was of turning some of my darker feelings into functional illustrations.  This is me on a bad day...a very bad day.  I think this may have been the lurking demon of the steroid, Prednisone.  I took that hateful drug for 4 months and it took me years to recover from its effects.  I would not recommend it to anyone.  It made me psychotic and when I tried to explain it to my doctor he just looked at me and nodded and smiled.  So I did some research and learned what I needed to do to ween myself off it, then went to a nutritional therapist at the suggestion of my friend Su.

Prednisone is the reason I have very little faith in the medical community.  The answer is always - "yeah but you're alive".  QUALITY of life is also extremely important. I wish for anyone who says something like that to be required to take Prednisone until they've eaten their way to 35 pounds heavier in four months, are punching walls at least once a week, are crying themselves to sleep every night, and are laughing and crying at the same time whenever they have ANY kind of emotion...but YEAH...I was alive.
I was just out my F@%&#&^ mind.

(prying his white knuckled hands from the podium, he steps down from the soap box)  Oops...Sorry about that.  Prednisone was a bad experience for me and my doctor was apathetic about its effects on me.  Anyway - how bout that crazy cave creature I drew!

I was worried at first about posting this text because of the intensity of my feelings concerning Prednisone, but I realized that this text matches the drawing quite nicely.  So it stays. 
{Pen & Ink.}


Vincent said...

I had a similar (though not nearly as severe) reaction to Doxycycline. It affected my mood (mild paranoia) and also increased my heat intolerance, which was particularly bad since it was summer time AND I had to soak in hot baths as part of my treatment. Never again, Doxycycline.

As for personal/emotional content in your artwork and the benefits of self-examination that come from it, I consider that to be the most important thing an artist can do with their work. While it might be very difficult at times to create and share these types of works, I feel it's a 100% necessary tool for true growth on both a personal and artistic level.

Your cave creature is great and your technique was quite successful in achieving your goal of balancing personal and commercial considerations.

Heh, sorry I droned on for so long, but you happened to hit upon a subject I feel very strongly about.

Take 'er easy : )

Jesse W. Campbell said...

I hear you on the Doxycycline. HUGGS on the paranoia and heat intolerance (from a safe non-threatening air conditioned distance) :-) I can't imagine that and having to take the hot baths. oi!

I had a friend once who had to take Tetracycline. She basically had to have the hours of a vampire or she broke out in these horrendous sores. It may have affected her moods as that I think about it. She was fairly impossible to be around when she was taking the Tetracycline. Got to be careful with the complex man made meds. eep! :-O

I checked out your blog. Cool work! I'd be interested to see what you'd do with some paint...something chunky like Acrylic with some thickener added. :-) I wish I could be that loose and expressive, but my control issues say no. Also, it is very nice to meet a fellow Sharpie-aholic. Have you tried their new(ish) fine point writing pens? They're wonderful! :-D

On Art / Self Reflection / Psychoanalysis: I'm not sure I could live without it. The times in my life when I was most unhappy were the times that I was not engaged in some kind of emotional artistic pursuit. I will admit that there is a danger in all of this. In 1998, I attempted suicide and at that time I was creating more artwork than I ever had in my life. There were other imbalances from that time that fed into my situation. I guess the art isn't a complete litmus, but I'd rather be unhappy and doing it than repressed and explode uncontrollably at some point. It's all a matter of focus and balance I guess.

Thanks for sharing Vincent. I'm sorry to hear of anyone's suffering from the strange pill bottle shaped beast, but thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. Muchly appreciated! :-)

...and no worries on the droning on...a bit long winded myself. :-O

Vincent said...

Hey, thanks for taking a look at ye olde blog! I'm glad you enjoyed it : )

Yeah I discovered the Sharpie writing pens a couple months ago and, yes, they are lovely. I will always be a Sharpie man. On my last birthday I got a gift certificate to an art supplies store and on a lark I picked up this Manga Art pen set and discovered Sakura Pigma Micron Pens and they blew my mind. You can get them as fine as 0.2mm! They've really opened up new levels of fuzzy for my fuzzy skeletonians and are perfect for super fine detail. Highly recommended.

As for painting, I'm still quite the novice. Lately, I've been experimenting more and more with watercolor but I think I'll need to develop more patience before fully embracing the medium.

I understand completely about self-examination via your own personal art. While it can be quite illuminating there is a definite danger in those revelations. I think you hit it right on the head, "focus and balance".

Jesse W. Campbell said...

Sorry for the delay in reply, I had a very hectic end of week.

I do love me some Micron pens! I usually don't go below a 0.3. Much of my work is focused on reproduction and I discovered that many lines smaller than .2 will disappear in copy or scan. I generally try to beef up all my lines so when they copy they won't shrink into disappearance. Sorry - 6 years at Kinko's. :-o

I enjoy watercolors, but they can be delicate in terms of getting them to do a particular effect. Either that or you have to layer a million times to get the color to show up. I've had good experiences with Inks. Most you can water down for watercolor effects, but they are many times more intense at the onset than watercolors. It is all preference in the end. I haven't painted in a long while. I need to set aside some time to play. :-) I can waste a whole day mixing colours. :-P

Other than that I use acrylics...but that is a very expensive way to make art...3-5 dollars a tube. I just can't afford that. :-O

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