Growing Pains Expressed In Art
I was twenty years old, give or take a year, when I drew this picture. It was back in the 2007-2008 time frame. I was a freshly minted father who was freshly unemployed due to the housing market crash of 2007. All I had was a G.E.D (General Education Diploma), no marketable skills, and no idea what I was supposed to do. After loosing my apartment, my car, and my unemployment income, I did the only thing I knew how to do in order to cope with stress at the time. I began to draw.
I sat down one night and let my hands do the work. I still don’t remember drawing this, but I remember the feeling of being incredibly angry and depressed all at once. The unnamed feeling we all go through when life introduces us our new limits of expectation. I was trying to sum up my life at that point in one image, one drawing. I wanted to express all the pain and damage I was feeling. It worked, for me at least. I look at this image and it still sends a shiver down my spine.
Those times were tough and terrifying, but I dealt with it as best as I could. Through my art and my writing… I was able to get everything out in the open so I could think clearly, and make a plan. Having the ability to cope in this way was quite possibly the thing that changed my life around. I went through my emotions and worked things out with myself so that I could accept everything that had happened and begin working on the next step in my life. That next step happened to be enlisting in the U.S. Army.
I thought life was hard before joining the Military, and it was in its own special ways, but the Army was a whole different beast entirely. Luckily I still had my way of dealing with it.
…isn’t always about making a pretty picture.
Sometimes you just need the art to display a certain emotion or feeling. Something it is a feeling you maybe can’t put into words. It won’t always make sense to others but it doesn’t always have to. The image above may seem exceptionally violent, and it is. But there is more to see here. That image is a representation of my life in the Army killing my old idea of how to live. Basically I am shooting myself in some sort of convoluted grandfather-paradox nightmare, if you will. The military toughened me up for sure, made me more resilient to life and all of its woes. Though life is better these days, I do occasionally come across bits of stress that need to be sorted out and filed away, thus….
….I was created. A sarcastic web cartoon character with horrible hair, a crooked mustache, and killer abs. Thanks for reading, sorry for the anti-climatic ending.