Glitter on the surface

I’d been feeling some intense emotions lately, due to various goings-on in my life. Things that to other people are probably pretty ordinary but to me were dramatic. Because, like many people, I tend to overthink and overanalyze. 

But in all honesty, it wasn’t that I was having anxieties about things in my life. It was that I was getting anxious about NOT having anxieties. 

Either way, certain things were on my mind. They were all-consuming. I couldn’t focus on the book I was reading or the TV shows I was watching. So I opened my brand new sketchbook and started drawing and writing everything that came to mind. I filled up half a sketchbook within a few days, with mostly words.

THIS IS A DREAM, 18"x24", chalk pastel, oil pastel, crayon, colored pencil, and glitter on paper, 2015.

It turned out pretty fucking emo. And embarrassing. Some thoughts were blissfully happy — embarrassing. Some were intensely hopeless — embarrassing. For the record, that sketchbook is off limits to anyone’s eyes but my own until I’m dead.

But still, these feelings were my feelings. A good friend once told me, “you feel how you feel” and that is one of the most important truths I’ve ever heard.

Addicted to the satisfaction of drawing and writing purely from emotion, I wanted to turn my sketchbook scratchings into drawings on paper so I did

And it was therapeutic as hell. But then I was left with a Drawing with a capital D that I wanted no one to see. I barely wanted to look at it myself. My instinct when I finish a work of art is to share it on social media, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t stick it on my wall because someone would surely see. I couldn’t just get rid of it because it meant so much to me. 

I had these feelings that were only mine. (I am not one to keep my feelings to myself, so this was weird). And I couldn’t hide them because I had drawn them on paper.

DOES IT MATTER?, 9"x12", marker and glitter on paper, 2015.

So I did what any glitteraholic would do and covered it in glitter.

And sure, you can draw pretty literal analogies from this process. That we hide behind a façade of shiny, pretty things; that the world only sees the outer shell we put out. We only share what we choose to share, and for me, glitter is a solid metaphor for the happy, colorful person I put out to the world as myself.

And nothing’s perfectly hidden - you can put on a happy face but someone somewhere will see what’s underneath, just like this coat of glitter doesn’t cover everything, and over time will probably all fall off and reveal what it’s hiding.

I mean, these metaphors are pretty obvious.

UNTITLED, 24"x18", marker, chalk pastel, oil pastel, colored pencil, crayon, and glitter on paper, 2015.

But for someone like me, who will regularly tell all the details of my life to a wide circle of friends and usually has no shame in it, I like the idea of having some secrets all to myself. Only I know what’s underneath all that glitter, and that’s okay.

I don't always feel this intensely, but when I do, from now on, this is the best way for me to deal with it all. (Plus I have a lot of glitter that I need to use up.)