Growing Pains Expressed In Art

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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.

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A piece of me is buried in one of those graves…

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.

 

Art…army

…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….

sgt-stach0001….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.

 

 

 

 

Zelda Folder Art (1999)

Well, it’s almost time. Breath of The Wild will be launching soon and the hype train is moving full steam ahead (Possibly missing a Spirit Tracks pun here). In honor of the new release I dug up some more of my shitty Zelda art brought to you by the younger version of myself. (Possibly missing an Ocarina of Time pun here).

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Front Cover

You may notice the giant stamp in the top right corner of the front cover. If you can imagine this, I was considered a problem kid because I would draw pictures in class quite often. After a few warnings, my teacher decided she would stamp my art with a signature stamp so I “wouldn’t forget” to pay attention in class… I don’t even remember what she taught.

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Back Cover

Epona hasn’t been running for a few years…

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Inside Flap

 

Sophia

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Sophia – Spring 2016

The little human in the image above is named Sophia, and she is my youngest daughter. She was born with a rare disorder known as Turner Syndrome which you can read all about here if you want to know more. All you really need to know about this image is that Sophia was four years of age at the time of this sketch. Due to her condition however, she looks as if she were only a toddler. She cannot walk, her hair barely grows, she is extremely short, and she has never spoken a word, but she can scream and cry quite well.

I could say some BS about how enriched my life has become with a disabled child, but i’ll be honest, this shit sucks. It’s hard work and it never stops. You never get a break. You don’t get a life outside of home anymore. You can’t take her anywhere. Last time we did  go out we went to a pizza place. She threw a small packet of ranch sauce at the man next to us. It exploded on him, we left. Like I said, it’s hard.

With all of that said however, I love this kid to death. She drives me up the wall everyday with her antics… but when she gives my that goofy smile you see in the sketch above… I melt everytime. She is the epitome of innocence and sometimes I envy that about her. She will never have to understand how scary this world really is. She just keeps doing her own thing, marching to her own beat while the rest of us keep pretending we know how to adult the right way. I want to be more like her honestly, just hit you with a sauce packet and scream in your face…

The Puppet Master

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The Puppet Master-2010

Not much to say about this one folks. It was inspired by a certain Metallica song, sleep deprivation courtesy of the Army, and boredom.

I’ll give you something better tomorrow. 😉

480-E Case Backhoe

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September 16th, 2008

The Story

In 2008 I worked in the underground utility industry installing natural gas lines to new homes around Atlanta, GA. I absolutely despised the work even though I was great at it. In an attempt to strike some sort of balance between the man I was becoming who had many responsibilities and the boy in me who just wanted to be an artist and nothing more, I would spend my thirty minute lunch breaks doing sketches like these while eating. They were ugly, crude, hastily drawn sketches of whatever happened to catch my eye during lunch that particular day. I felt that I had to keep drawing so that I could retain my smug sense of superiority over my co-workers. In my head at the time, I had convinced myself that settling to be a construction worker was below me. That I had to keep trying to be the artist I saw myself as. These sketches would make me famous!

I was a fucking idiot. Reality smacked me in the face a few hours later.

Those of you who are sharp readers may already know the significance of the date I made this sketch. It was the day the world financial market basically took a nose dive. Everyone in my company was laid off that day. I was not special. I was expendable just like everyone else. This was the last picture I drew for a long time. I suddenly didn’t have the luxury of a lunchtime hobby. Everyday my new job was to find a new job. As most of you know, no one was hiring at that moment in time… well almost no one. We did have two active wars going on after all…Save that story for later.

Drawing of Link-1999

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Winter 1999

Here you see another of my early works concerning the main protagonist from The Legend of Zelda series. My skill as an artist left much to be desired at the time. The image looks very disjointed because I drew the character of Link as he looks inside of the game’s manual that came with Ocarina of Time (see below). I free handed the background around his already set pose in an attempt to bring life to the image. Looking at the image today I only have one thought…

Who the hell puts the door hinge on the outside of the door? Jackass.

 

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SOURCE 

 

 

 

St. Anger

 

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September 25, 2003

The Story-

High school art class, 2003. I always envisioned myself becoming an artist of some type and decided it wouldn’t hurt to take art in high school. One of our first projects involved scratch boards, my first time ever seeing this form of art. My first attempt at using scratch board is what you see above. I was a metal head at the time. Everything was rock & roll and Metallica was my go to band back then. I pulled out the CD Jacket from their St. Anger album and used the images in it to create this piece.

In short, this is shitty high school art. 🙂