Doodle times

I love to doodle when I write. I like how the words and the visuals interact, and it thrills me when I subconsciously end up creating something that reflects what I’m writing about. I’m not entirely sure how to make it happen. Maybe it’s a kind of meditation… It works best when I don’t try to force anything in particular. Sometimes I draw towards a feeling, if that makes sense?

February 20, 2020. Box Office.
Journal entry from February 20, 2020. I knew what I wanted to draw. It came out differently than I’d first imagined, but I like where it ended up! I’d gotten a job offer that day, after a long run of rejections (being unemployed is so hard on the ego).
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Inspiration in a box

A few months ago, one of my older sisters sent me a box of scraps of paper, fabric, stickers, glass vials, and all sorts of oddments. A literal box of potential. She’s a wizard at artistic transmutation, so to have a box of stuff she chose for me that she would use in her own artistic endeavors is a little bit like being given a glimpse into how she sees the world and what she finds interesting.

This collection of stuff (for lack of a better word) made me think about how I can fall into the habit of seeing things on a macro level…where an object is already fully realized with form, color, texture, size and purpose. Where it is itself the destination, rather than a starting point. An end, versus a potential beginning.

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Imaginary creatures

I like to look for creatures in random shapes and patterns. I imagine that when I see them, I’m catching a glimpse of another world, one where the rules aren’t quite the same as here. Where a tree can have a mouth and eyes and something to say, if only I knew how to listen. Where there are improbable beings going about their daily lives, just as I am. A Through the Looking Glass sort of existence, where the normal and the strange are intertwined…a place where my oddness is unremarkable.

Griffin found in India ink splatters and splashes. Watercolor, pen, and India ink on watercolor paper. 2018
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Demon Hunting

Like a lot of people, I struggle with anxiety and a host of other brainular issues. I have a few diagnoses that I could rattle off, but right now I don’t feel like the particulars matter. What is important in this moment is my conception of them, and how I use art to deal with their sometimes unwelcome presence in my life.

I call them demons. I’m not a particularly spiritual and not at all religious person, so I don’t mean demons in any literal “fallen angel” or “personification of evil” sense. It’s more that they have recurring roles and specific emotions associated with them. For example, for me, Anxiety is a demon that walks around with me every day, whether I’m consciously aware of it or not. Fear is another. It helps me to name them, to conceptualize them as having a physical form, and behaviors that I can learn to recognize and then counteract.

“I cannot see which demon it is until I open my eyes.” Nov 2018 journal entry (markers, pen, Derwent Inktense on multimedia)
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Been scribblin’ in some journals

…and now I’m ready to open them up to the world!

Okay, I’m not actually ready. I’m more than half-convinced that this is an exercise in egotistic delusion, but whatever. If no one ever visits this blog and reads this, then it’s substantively no different than just scribbling away in my paper journals, and thus I haven’t embarrassed myself because no one is looking anyway, right? (If a tree does something embarrassing in the forest, does it matter?)

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emotion in visual form