15th October 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
There’s a picture by the artist INFJoe, of a man with arrows sticking through his chest. He’s sitting at a table with a drink as if everything is normal. One person asks what’s wrong with him. Another person replies that he’s fine; he just feels things deeply. I drew this bubble picture to express the same sort of thing.
I was reading a book called Persepolis. It’s a graphic novel about a girl who grew up during the Islamic revolution. I found it interesting and I enjoyed reading history through the eyes of the narrator. But the more I read, the more I was unsettled by violence, torture, and war. Then I came to a page where an image of death was too much for me. I felt sick. I couldn’t read anymore, and I still haven’t been able to finish the book.
I have trouble reconciling the existence of horrible acts in the world I know because these acts are so unknowable to me. I don’t understand them. I don’t understand the people who do them. But at the same time I do understand. Because I’m human too, and whatever is in them is in me. This scares me. It all scares me.
It’s easier for me to close my eyes to the horrible things in the world because otherwise I get overwhelmed and go to pieces. The book confronted me with these horrible things, though, and I got overwhelmed. It was an overwhelming year when I drew this picture.
I was oversensitive to everything. I cried when I watched the news and when I saw people cry on TV. I even cried during ads. I cried when I learned about the hard lives people have: depression, suicide, addiction, bullying, broken families. It was all around me. I had no answers and I cried at everything.
I felt threatened. It was like the world was a spiky, painful place, and there was no relief wherever I turned. When I couldn’t take the pain anymore, I wanted to float in a bubble, protected from the spikes.
When an actual physical bubble isn’t possible, my bubble comes in the form of time alone, listening to music, reading, writing, and drawing.