Of Monsters and Giving a Shit

"Of Monsters and Giving a Shit." 12/13/12. Oil pastels. 12x18".
“Of Monsters and Giving a Shit.” 12/13/12. Oil pastels. 12×18″.

On the left half of this piece, I can still see a few of the words I wrote but not enough to make any sense of it. Two weeks from today, this piece will be a year old; it’s one of the last I made before I got the courage to stop completely obscuring the more serious/honest/vulnerable text in my art. All I really remember is that it was related to the girl at the center of all my 12/13/14 pieces and that the original sentiment was that – of all the things in the world to be scared of – the one I feared most was the prospect of really caring about another human being. I wrote a little bit about that back when I drew this…

That feeling when you wake up from a really good dream where everything worked out and you still have everything that you’ve lost – only to realize moments later, “Oh yeah… that’s not my life anymore. I’m in rehab for the third or fourth time this year.”

But there’s comfort in having lost everything – in having nothing. What else can you lose at that point? What’s there to be afraid of?

Yet, as I get better, I’m starting to get some of those things back. I’m starting to develop meaningful relationships again. And it’s pretty fucking terrifying. Giving a shit about other people (about anything really) opens the door to serious heartache and frustration.

But it’s worth it.


Status Update (12/1/13):

Yesterday was the last day of my exhibit at Sun-Ray but, when I went down there to check in, Tim and Shanna told me that I could keep half of the wall space I had been using. So – when I went down there today – I took everything apart and then put it back together within the confines of the space I’ve got now. In all, I have thirteen pieces up: five that were featured in the exhibit, plus eight new ones. I’m still a little shocked when I’m even tolerated somewhere so to actually have my welcome extended … it’s a pretty great feeling.

The last couple days have been a little hectic. I’ve been getting more emails than usual (from people reaching out) and I’m having a little trouble keeping up. It’s kinda strange ’cause (obviously) I’m not really qualified to help anyone but I think it’s a good thing that something about what I’m doing is hitting people in such a way that they’re comfortable sharing things with me that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about with anyone else. I think sometimes just the act of acknowledging something to another human being can have a powerful, healing effect. Still, it’s tough sometimes to figure out exactly how I should respond (especially via email which doesn’t really feel like the most compassionate means of communication).

On a sorta-related note, something kinda cool that’s been happening: the last three times I’ve left the house, I’ve been asked by a stranger if I’m … me … and then they’ve shared with me something about having seen my art and told me what they liked or how they related to it. That’s not totally new but it doesn’t usually happen this frequently and (again) it’s a pretty good feeling knowing that some of what I’m doing is getting through to people, even beyond my little punk rock bubble.

That’s all for tonight. I’m feeling grateful. For all this (and more).


Almost forgot: if you didn’t see it already, check out this little write-up about me! There are a couple small errors (like “bipolar” instead of borderline) but it’s really cool all the same. I met this girl on the street in Riverside about a month ago when she asked me, “What’s there to do in this city?” I took her to my art show and we spent about an hour together. I’m really honored to see all the nice things she had to say about me/my art ’cause my admiration for her bravery and what she’s doing with her life right now is about on the same level.


Signed/numbered 12×8⅙-inch “Of Monsters and Giving a Shit” prints are still available. The original piece sold in May.

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