9th August 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
This was my attempt at drawing something ugly, confused, angry and violent. Because sometimes I feel ugly and confused, and sometimes I get angry and violent towards myself. I get really frustrated when people don’t see it.
At the time I drew this, I pictured myself tearing my skin off and smashing my head into a glass door. I’d never do this, but there were times when I wondered if it would get so bad that I wouldn’t be able to control myself.
What I really wanted, though, was for people to see me. The inside of me. The ugliness, confusion, anger, violence and pain. All I wanted was to express this, but since I couldn’t do this outwardly (for fear of judgement, rejection and being misunderstood), I resorted to having those violent visions.
Out of all my drawings, this is probably the one I’m most afraid to show people because it’s so raw and exposed. I used to struggle to look at it because the inside of me scared me. But now it’s one of my favourite pictures because it’s so real.
It’s psychedelic, it’s crazy, it’s sad, it’s stunned, it’s lonely, it’s hurt, it’s desperate, it’s conflicted, it’s screaming, it’s silenced. It’s everything I can relate to. The blonde side represents the ideal picture of the person I always wanted to be but never will be. The brunette side represents the reality and how hard it can be to embrace it. It’s not always pretty, but it’s me. I’m learning to accept it, but my fear is that others won’t know what to do with it.
I heard an interview on the radio where a singer talked about a hard time she went through. It got so bad that she pictured herself driving her car into a pole. When she told this to a friend, her friend said maybe she should find a more positive way to express herself. The singer started writing in a journal and turned her writing into songs.
This inspired me. I like that the friend didn’t freak out and tell the singer she needed to think or feel differently. She didn’t tell her friend she needed to be fixed. Instead, it was as if she was saying, ‘It’s okay to feel the way you do. Find a way to express it in a way that can help you walk through it rather than destroy you.’
So I don’t want people to freak out because of the way I feel sometimes. I know it’s just something I feel in a moment. It will pass and it isn’t all of me. But what I’d love is to be able to show the inside of me instead of hiding behind a smile and a, ‘I’m fine, thanks.’ I want to be real. Maybe I could hold this picture in front of my face and say, ‘Hey, this is how I’m feeling right now. It’s okay. Give me some space and I’ll catch up with you when this passes.’