13th October 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
This picture was inspired by the ‘I’m Still Here’ video clip by John Rzeznik (the front man of the Goo Goo Dolls).
In the video clip, a guy is running. At the end two people grab him, one on each arm. His shirt rips and he breaks free. This image of breaking free stuck with me and I knew I wanted to draw it because I’ve felt like that guy.
The people represent all the voices that tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. Some of these things I’ve been told are written on the dress. The voices contradict, it’s confusing, and I’m left not knowing what to do or what’s right and wrong. It feels like no matter what I do, it will be wrong. I become too scared to do anything, scared of making a wrong move.
I’ve grown up with these voices. They’ve been with me throughout my life and come from everywhere. Home, school, social media, society. The voices fight and I try so hard to please them all. I get so busy listening to them that I end up losing my own voice. When I finally try to listen to my voice, I don’t know what it says because I can’t hear it. I don’t have one.
I struggle with the voices and become a different person doing things I don’t want to do. I try to be perfect, but I want to be real. I try to write, but I don’t know what to write. I try to dream, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to dream.
The voices pull at me, holding me back. They try to tear me down and they rip me so much that it feels like there isn’t anything left of me. But as the song says, I’m still here. It gives me hope. Those voices can’t destroy me. There is a new day.
I want to break free from the voices and run out of the darkness to that new day where I can find my voice. Where I can find out who I am and what I want to say.