For the better part of the past year, I have not been living. I spent hours drawing and painting, working on creating a better future myself without any consideration to my present. And when I finally landed a job, in order to escape the emotional toll of breaking up, I committed myself ten fold to my career, without realizing that the aching was unavoidable all along.
As it is now, my life is so different than anything I’ve become accustomed to, that I feel estranged in my own body. Where did my optimism, my confidence, and my day-to-day experiential ownership go? What did I rot into without my network of close friends and sense of contributing to society? For so long, I’ve felt hallowed out and filled with confusion, stumbling, infantile, lacking in presence. And I realize that because I ignored these lurking emotions, I never bothered to ask for help. I never truly admitted to the profound depression that I’ve been harboring. I never spoke much of my fear and loneliness. In the past few years I’ve cried exactly four times. The first was when I felt like I had truly failed a student, the second was when I discovered that my friend had died of cancer, the third was when someone I loved betrayed me, and the fourth with my grandmother, at my grandfather’s funeral. These spikes of emotions should not take more precedence than the common and frequent sadness in-between. I understand now that things must change.
I’ve been reading Sum by Dave Eagleman, a collection of 40 interpretations of the afterlife. Upon nearly completing the book, I know that it’s not so much that I don’t believe in an afterlife, it’s that I don’t care at all about it. I’ll deal with it when I get there. This is my life and my goal is to live it, to cherish and appreciate it, and to be better at living everyday.
The act of living isn’t something that we automatically learn and for me, it comes at a point of recognition that I have to continuously commit myself to remembering. I have to remind myself to live: to set goals and appreciate the working towards them, to make events if I feel like there are none, to understand that work cannot be my only love, to create my own positivity through constructive action when I feel as if I’m growing bitter, and to embrace everything which could be called new. This is not my plan. This is my action.
It's been a while since I've looked at your blog all at once instead of just in my dashboard and woah I'm so fucking impressed and jealous! The "djinn of fate" and "forest passage" style that you've been working on is totally next level, I'm in love with it. Are those solely photoshop? Looks like the sabbatical is paying off.
Hey Austin! Good to hear from you. I’ve been following your work as well and it’s great to see it evolve with each piece.
A little over a month ago, I took a break from drawing and stumbled upon these tutorials. http://fengzhudesign.com/tutorials.htm. The guy was a concept artist for a bunch of Star Wars stuff and other huge titles. He has his own school in Singapore, but he puts these tuts up. They’re the most useful thing I’ve ever watched (I spent two weeks and plowed through half of them). After that, my work tremendously improved! I’m also learning shit more quickly and freely than I ever did in college, though I’m building upon the foundations I learned previously (gained from college).
The paintings are all photoshop. I plan to learn 3D programs like zbrush, maya and 3ds Max in the near future, but I’m trying to get really badass at one thing for now!