Some days ago I was talking with a friend of how happy I am lately: All smiles, staring at the sky and shaping the clouds in my mind, singing while biking in the street, all sunshine… and the first thing he told me (to my surprise) was that he was hoping I wouldn’t stop writing and painting due to all this happiness.
I’ve already commented in other posts my belief that the best art comes from the biggest sorrows. Maybe it is our desesperation to free our soul at least from something, to throw away a bit of all the things that we are carrying… maybe it is all the things we want to scream but we don’t dare to say. It is easy to scream to the world how happy we are but we tend to hide our sadness and well… that sinks the soul to the point we have to do something or else we’ll drown and that is when art comes to the rescue.
What happens when happiness is so overwhelming we want to get it out? What happens when the butterflies fill your chest and you have to tear yourself open or else you’ll explode? What happens when everything seems brighter and you want to capture a moment forever?
These last couple of months I’ve been keeping a careful record of the drawings I do and when I do them… Am I feeling happy? Have I just hung up from a two hour phone call with that someone? Have I had a bad day because nostalgia decided to visit? And everytime I draw I wrote what I was thinking or feeling…
So let’s get a bit personal… follow me to a small tour around my mind these past months.
(though, sometimes drawings are not so much about me but what surrounds me… countless times I’ve seen something in the streets while I ride bike and ended up writing or drawing about it)
“Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness and you fill my head with you”
Bloom – Paper Kites was playing on Spotify in repeat while I was drawing this. Why am I even playing this song in repeat? Oh no…
Then the lyrics get stuck to me and I am getting tired of it… it’s been a couple of weeks without drawing and I think I am in one of those “inspirational breaks”. But all of a sudden I feel the need to show what I am feeling so I grab my pen and it starts. A girl with her lungs full of butterflies (because having a stomach full of butterflies is too mainstream)… and in her head, or well in her hair, we see this lonely fox staring at the far moon. When all of a sudden this butterfly touches his nose and… loneliness is not so lonely anymore.
I was watching Sia’s Carpool Karaoke when she started singing Elastic Heart. I just found her song so powerful that I HAD to do something. I went to read the lyrics and played it a couple of times. When this picture came to my mind… A girl with her heart being teared away… but not just that but her heart is made of ink which turns into birds… which are the same birds who are then fighting for her heart. I know, it sounds crazy… but this is actually my interpretation of a love that turns harmful. It is something that was part of your heart before… but then it starts hurting you. And since love is blind she has her eyes covered with a bandage which at the end if we watch closely (in the real life vesion it is easier to decipher this) is a bandage made of the words “Love Love Love”.
I also did this one with a song! Fever To The Form – Nick Mulvey. But I think this one was more about the rythm than the lyrics… It got me to think of the sea, I do not know why. And then that made me think of the beach… which lead me to think of being in the beach with someone… which lead me to think of love.
I believe falling in love is not actually falling in love, falling in love is diving in love. I think that we have no choice on which persons we connect with or we are attracted to, but falling in love is taking that step of jumping in. And loving someone normally is not easy, since it involves getting close to them and attaching. So this is why this drawing has a tiny woman at the border of a plank ready to dive in, into a sea (the other person’s mind) full of unknown monsters (the other person’s fears), waves (the other person’s mood), mermaids (past lovers), with the only salvation of a tiny boat (hope)… So I tried to capture that exact moment when you look down and you see all this, but still take the leap and… yeah.
Delilah – Florence and the Machine. This one is a drawing someone asked me to do, well… they picked the song. I love Florence and the Machine so I was happy to do so. Delilah is a song which makes me think of someone wanting to be set free… in addition to the strength of Florence’s voice and the crazy (amazing) video I could not do anything but use red a red pen and draw all these faces screaming to be set free, to be saved…. Then I thought of the soul rising when being set free and a the eternal wave of thoughts that fills a person’s mind… so I drew the woman on top being held by some strings and her hair falling down creating some sound waves representing the strength of her demons (with demons I don’t mean literal demons) inside her mind…
(please, don’t think I am crazy)
This one I did it on the bus on our way to Chiayi, the time we climbed up Alishan to watch the sunrise. There was something
(someone) going on my mind for a long time already and I just wondered what would my mother think about it (him) so I thought the biggest question I have since five years ago “Are you here?” and I answered myself through the drawing in the stars which spell “I’M HERE” and with the mother fox sleeping inside the moon while her tiny fox is resting besides her grave under a tree. (This one is easier to explain and understand than the others, SEE! I am not THAT crazy)
It’s been a while since I’ve been writing and drawing about love, right? So… this time I tried to draw about it again but with a whole different point of view: a happy one. This time there is also a song involved
(Oh, so unexpected) but this one is in Spanish (ha, that was actually unexpected!) Espacio Sideral – Jesse & Joy which talks about loving someone and feeling all these nice things. So… remember the girl with butterflies from the first drawing? Well, I drew her as a doll this time… and she is openning her chest (exactly where her heart is) and butterflies are coming out to this crazy world. Then in the background we see some mini-me’s doing some crazy stuff such as reaching for the stars, swinging on the moon, climbing Saturn, walking under the rain and tanning on the sun. So… we could say this is the representation of the bubbly feeling of love in Ericka style.
Last but not least, I bring to you my first drawing in full color after a while (which is also my own statement of a new phase, a new beginning)… Fire and Ice, Sun and Moon, Explosions and Calmness, Day and Night, see it however you want to see it, I just believe it is two souls meeting… The red fox representing all this wild things while the blue fox representing something more calm, so we can see that the blue fox is placing his nose in the… “forehead” of the other fox in a way of saying “there, there… here I am, calm down”. Which I guess can be what some people with chaos going inside there minds is all they need to hear from the right person on the right time.
So, yeah… these are some of the drawings I’ve been doing lately and some of the things that have been around my mind. What I want to say with all this is 1. Yes, I told you I am crazy. 2. Yes, I told you I’ve been drawing what comes up to my mind lately. 3. There is no NEED for sadness to get artsy… I believe we just need an overwhelming feeling. Positive, or negative.
So, happy Ericka, sad Ericka, angry Ericka, in love Ericka, lonely Ericka, super excited Ericka, frustrated Ericka, all of them can create art. (except Finals and Midterms and Projects Ericka, I hope she doesn’t because I do not want Failing Ericka to appear this semester).
Hope you enjoyed this and do not think I have to go to a psychologist!
Art is what the Heart speaks… and I believe all our hearts are able to speak more than sadness.