Written Thoughts · October 8, 2022

*a memory*

Kind of a vulnerable story that I’ve decided to share publicly: This box of charcoal has huge sentimental value to me!

It was 2003 or something, I was in my early teens (14 or 15) and had taken an interest in drawing very graphic gore in charcoal (using a cheap charcoal pencil I had bought for myself). The content of my drawings and everything I was interested in during that time was very controversial to other people and got me in trouble at school and “at home”, I was a complete social outcast but didn’t really care (even though I was deeply hurt from people’s reactions). My favorite thing to draw was people pulling out their eyeballs, or having their guts pulled out or just their skin and flesh peeled to reveal what’s underneath and blood dripping down. And while I understand why this kind of stuff might get people “concerned” and respond back in violence (sometimes) I didn’t mean any harm to anyone or anything bad against humanity, I was just interested in drawing the human anatomy, from within, and expressing very intense emotion using only black and white, I mean it inspires the viewer to imagine RED, the most intense of all colors through just shades of black and white. So there’s a thought process and philosophy behind it, but people don’t like to listen and would rather just be afraid (maybe invoking this kind of emotion means my art has successfully served its purpose?)

Anyway, the surprising thing was my father’s reaction, the content didn’t “bother” him at all, I guess he just saw skill, drive, and passion, and decided to reward that, and he bought me this charcoal set, which was very expensive at the time (there seemed to always be money problems and spending was only on priorities, which rarely meant buying things for me) and I hadn’t received this kind of support for anything I do since I was 7 or something 😅(looking back I realize that what I had wasn’t “freedom” but “neglect” but that’s a story for another time) I kept this memory in my mind ever since, my father is the kind of distant parent, very passive and not “present” even when he was physically there with us, but he gives very subtle forms of support like that every now and then, he can’t be there in many ways but he “gets it” which in a way means so much more than someone who’s “there” but screws things up because they don’t even try to understand. As an adult, I realize that life is just too much, and sometimes you can’t do anything about it and people will eat you alive so it’s actually amazing that you just manage to survive! I’m still in contact with my father and we still connect on that deep level, and I will forever remember this story because it gives me faith in humanity.

I still have the charcoal set until today as a reminder (even though I don’t use it as much anymore)

*The pictures are of the charcoal set, and the sketches from when I was 14-15 years old*