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As an artist, I am interested in plunging into the depths of the soul, and trying to create proof of it.

It is ridiculous that we live in a world that asks for proof of such a thing, which we all know we have 

For the first time in human history, questions of the soul are not what happens to the soul after we die, what tarnishes or nourishes it, what constitutes one. Rather, the question that Western civilization, with its violently enforced institutions of rationality and capital, insists on imposing on us is:

“Is there even a soul in the first place?”

This is the level of gaslighting required to run a society as fucked up as ours, because if there is no such thing as a soul, then there is no light lost when one is stamped out, or a million. 6,556,086 people (as of October 9, 2022) have died of COVID-19 worldwide, but capitalism insists that we all keep moving forward. Don’t look too close. Get a job, go to work, pay your bills, repay your debts, don’t look at the weary, poor, sick, or lonely that you pass on your way from the bus stop.

It’s a disgusting world. And how does it treat you, if you insist otherwise or fight back? The rationalized institution gets to say you’re crazy. This is just how it works. Nevermind the mountains of evidence that they actually leave saying that no, this is not how the world works. In fact, that sort of thinking is actually going to kill us all, if you let it.

This is why we make art. It gives a voice to the irrational. To longing, to sorrow, to pain, to anguish, to death, to rage, to love, to all those things which do not fit neatly into discrete units or polite society.

With my art, I say this:

I am a complete sentence. You might not like what I’m saying, but it’s a statement. And if you are uncomfortable, let it be because I am bringing a level of insight and authenticity that leaves such an indelible mark that it makes you question your place. Let me speak to wanton desire, wanderlust under all of its pseudonyms. I want more. It is an excellent, greedy feeling, and god does it hurt.

Our society is built around denial. “This is when I’m supposed to sleep.” “This is who I should love.” “This is what I should be doing with my life, these are the milestones I must meet, and when, and with whom.” Instinctively, we know when we are tired. We know what the heart wants. The cruelty dealt to all of us is the denial of these desires and instincts, the denial of that which is raw, real, and animal in us.

An equal half of desire is not rational. An equal half of desire is feeling, feminine, divine. Equally present, unequally denied.

Let me speak to that, then. Let me give a voice to that which yearns to be seen. Justice is the third, unborn thing beneath the binary — beneath the play of rational and irrational, life and death, fear and want. How dare you ask for proof of the soul, when you know deep down that your own is beating in your chest! But if you insist, then here. Look at it. Look as close as you'd like. Go into it, see the layers, the tiny individual choices made moment by moment, brush stroke by brush stroke, line by line. It's all there on purpose, even when it feels like it isn't. I can stage accidents if I give them room to happen. Dive into it deep, let go. Notice the love I've put into it. And while you're in the mindset to notice things, look at yourself, at all the emotions that come up. Let my work be a deep pool into which you can see your own reflection. Look, and see what you've been looking for.

Because I've seen it. That which bubbles under the surface. That which is beyond language. Call it god, if you'd like. I do. I've seen god in art, in mine and others. I've done my best to drag whatever I can up to the light, where you may behold it for a little while. 

When I was 18 years old, in my first manic episode, I struck onto what I knew would be the meaning of my life. That is, what would bring meaning to it. Creation. If god made us in its image, then what it gave us was the ability to make things. I thought that I had found my soulmate, and instead I got heartbreak. But it was from that place of heartbreak that I learned to find myself

From my first comic, 'On Flight': 

The old saying goes: if you love something, you have to learn to let it go. If it's yours, it'll come back to you. 

Art is the same in many ways. If you hang on too tight to a concept,a style, a routine, a way of thinking, never letting yourself loosen up, explore possibilities, new ways of seeing things, you'll never grow.

I've been caught up in a certain concept of myself. An outline I thought I had to color in. It worried me when things didn't fit in the outlines. I'd been working in black and white. 

But life is a spectrum. People don't fit into outlines, the same way time doesn't stop and start over again 365, 24, 60 times. The earth is always revolving. We're drawn to the illusion of structure and security, but we forget that life is in perpetual motion.

I've been going through the stages of metamorphosis. I've found the break in my cocoon. I've let white light split into colors. I've let myself adapt, change, evolve. 

I've stopped forcing myself to fit into a definition. I'm moving past words. There have never been walls around me. Only the ones I've built around myself. From within, I've found a different kind of freedom. My own sky. I escape gravity.

Eleven years later, I see myself in a new stage of metamorphosis. The butterfly, finally free. Whole. Complete. The bits of caterpillar have restructured themselves, knitted themselves back together. Lord, did I take my time. But aren't I beautiful? Let me help you appreciate what you have, or at the very least, what I've figured out that I have. Maybe that’s grandiose, but aren’t I grand? Maybe that's self-centered, sure, but how delicious it is to be able to center my self. To have the clarity and confidence to say 'this is who I am.' To have the skill, vision, and talent to say 'this is how I see the world.'

Pills and hormones. Trauma and time. I've forgotten how to cry. Literally, I haven't cried in years, try as I might to force it. Let my paintings cry for me, then. Let the stories I spin release some of this pressure off my heart. Let my art be proof of my soul.

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