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STUCK IN THE ISLAND

Laura got stuck in the island. Again. We were all worried with her. No one could say she was not doing it on purpose. There was too much stress, noise and isolation.

I one of our awareness campaigns about Laura and thousands like her, we prepared a huge empty dark room with a surround sound system. People were divided into groups and had to communicate with each other the way Laura did. There were individual and community tasks to be made in the darkness and, most relevantly, under the deafening noise.

We design the project too well. Some people developed, for a while, behaviors like Laura’s. Social detachment, numbness, isolation, irritability, anxiety, major depression and suicidal tendencies. One hour in the dark room was enough to make damage. People were aware, some would come back to the dark room for the sake of deepening their knowledge, and the more they did so, the more like Laura they would become.

I’ve been into the dark room for days in a row, both as the chief, author and supervisor of the project, and for the knowledge all off a sudden I was getting. The exposure to noise, darkness and effort to desperately communicate was changing the processing of my emotions and I wanted to know what was happening. Like everyone else, when in the dark room, among drifting silhouettes and the full spectrum of noises, only two things were present in mind. Finishing the task successfully, because others depended on me, and getting the hell out of there.

The disruptive and self-destroying behaviors of the dark room’s regular visitors made authorities take action. The project was canceled after four months. As for the awareness, it didn’t reach the said authorities.

“This was utterly dangerous an a monumental flop!,” shouted Allan to me. “Head office is furious. They want your head on a tray surrounded by sauteed potatoes with garlic and oregon.”

“Tell them we never had so many supporters as in this campaign. We can finally achieve a number capable of some pressure.”

“Are you really from this planet, Jacob?” Allan kicked on my iron desk, already dented by previous arguments. “Listen to me, you dupe. Everyone is aware of the damn problem. Everyone! You don’t need any fancy sensory freak show to make people understand the thing. People know about this. They learn it in school, science documentaries and our damn work for decades. The plain truth is they don’t care and never will.”

“After being in the dark room, they will.”

Another kick on the desk.

“You stubborn bonkers! All you got was a bunch of pretentious college kids turned into fanatics!”

To my despair, Allan was spot on.

I was rumbling on this memory while heading full throttle to the beach. I was really scared with the stranding of Laura. As expected, an immense crowd surrounded her, taking pictures while some locals shoveled the sand. A tractor was arriving. I saw her gray bulk on the island shore and her left fin raised for a bit, and I couldn’t help thinking she was saying farewell. There was too much noise in the ocean for her. Too many engines, propellers and sonars. Too many humans. No peace. No rest. No friends to talk to. Only the will to die.

Saturday, September 4th 2021

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Going Mental

Despair is a bitch. Comparing reasons for despair is torture. The horizon of normality disappears under the blizzard of anxiety.

Loneliness becomes huge to the point of we getting apart from ourselves. Probably the last device from the survival kit. Witnessing instead of acting. Nothing left to feel except for the omnipresent squeeze on the chest. Absolute paralysis. Ever growing pressure from a flow of tears that will never come.

There is anger, of course. All seems unfair and that view isn’t far from truth. Nature is unfair. Justice is a human creation and we’re still far away to get it done, complete and effective. Casualties are expected, injuries and death. Mental wounds give away our flesh.

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Fish Out Of Water

It’s official – I’m a weirdo. In one of my efforts to make money online I decided to apply to answer surveys. The procedure requires the completion of an extended profile in which one exposes interests, consumption habits, and so on. After getting the thing done and receiving the automatic email congratulating me for such a brave task, I clicked the button to search for a suitable survey. Zero! They had nothing for my profile.

It makes sense. I am not a sports fan. Gadgets and videogames say nothing to me. I don’t drink alcohol nor soda. There’s been years since I last travelled by plane. Shopping is an activity that bores me to death. My only loan is the mortgage for the apartment. Car, health and home are my insurances. And I have no diseases nor chronical pain. Conclusion, nothing is left to be asked about.

This experience strengthen my feeling of not being cut out for this world. I am either an aberration or an alien. No wonder my anxiety.

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This Drawing Thing

As in every other activity, each illustrator has his own ways of making things. I often regret of my lack of proficiency outside the style I feel comfortable with. One thing I really lack doing on a regular basis is to draw on sight, specially to gain awareness of detail. Probably it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest a few daily minutes on the taking of visual notes. I could even make the commitment to publish them in the blog, to give me discipline, as it’s happening with the videos.

It really is frustrating when you realize the lack of singleness and stereotyped shapes of objects drawn without a visual reference. I should probably make use of documentation, which one can get in a second on this era of the Internet. My habits and mind frame must change. How I admire the talented illustrators! They don’t waste time on rumbling thoughts like these and just do what it takes: practice, practice, practice!

If only I had the warmth of a star inside my chest, to keep me calm and secure…

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Dragging

Gosh! How slow and unfocused I am! For instance, I should be drawing instead of writing these lines. The longing for attention is my venom. I am addicted to feedback. My heart craves for affection towards my artsy performances. Look at what I’ve done!, it cries, pretentiously. Look at the beautiful things I am capable of doing! Hey! Do you like it? Am I giving joy to your soul?

Gosh! How I want to be wanted! Needed! A necessity for the souls of others. I want my work to be useful, helpful to the wellbeing of individuals. Am I getting there? Does this article make you feel better? Are you enjoying my blog?

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I Wish I Were Faster

I am not focused nor confidant enough to achieve a fast pace of drawing. Over the years I forced myself to postpone drawing and give priority to daily tasks up to the point of feeling guilty each time I grabbed a pencil. This extends to all other pleasures I have. Writing and making music bring to me the same sinful malediction.

My focused was to become financial independent at all costs. I set up for a steady job to pay the mortgage for an apartment and here I am, slave of my household, or I should say the bank, horrified with the prospect of losing my regular civil servant income.

Two decades of restraint pass by until I became nuts. After the focus on pleasure, I lost it on work and on life itself. Time passes and instead of living I became a witness, having no attachment to reality at all. The loss of pleasure evolved to a loss of reference. If you don’t nurture the things you’re fond of, the labyrinth of indecision kicks in. No cardinal points, no capacity of choice, and you fall into the abyss of generalized anxiety.

To create faster I must let myself create more, loose from the chains of guilt. In both this blog and the shop I try to give legitimacy to my drawing through the effort of making it both a business and a service. I now provide objects some people might long for in exchange for their money. Someday I’ll work fast end efficient enough to pay my mortgage.

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End Of Page 1

Done! Finally I found myself focused and finished the first page. Now it’s time to press the gas. No more distractions, insecurities and prejudiced uncertainties. I can do it! And I love doing it. Nothing should prevent me from work, dedication and fun. There is a story to tell and a universe to share.

All I want is to maintain focus on the construction of appealing pages and narratives. I hope this blog helps me to gain an audience. The priority is to find and keep fast pace. To a person like myself this is a huge challenge. But I feel positive. Page 2 is on the way.