Updated: Feb 12, 2019
That I live with depression is no secret. Like any chronic illness I have good and bad days. Living with Persistent Depressive Disorder on a good day is a bit like wearing a warm coat in the summer, inconvenient, uncomfortable, but not impossible to live with. On a bad day it's a bit like being Randy in A Christmas Story. Every move is labored and when you are really down it's hard to get up without help.
Two things happen when experience deep depression: I isolate (sorry literally everyone I know, it's not personal!) and I stop creating.
The isolation, arguably, isn't the worst of it. I can only go so long without talking to people before they start to notice, I can stop being creative for years at a stretch.
A few weeks before my last flair-up I had made a commitment to myself. There were two rules: paint every day, post everything you paint to Instagram, no self-editing.
Good, Bad, kinda fucked up it all goes up.
That's a HUGE deal for someone who has a dozen tablets with a dozen drawings each--I tend to cull the art I don't like.
Whether the fixation with memory is the cause or the symptom of depression i'll never know. What I do know is that those light, airy portraits began to carry with them a weight that made continuing the series impossible.
What does one paint when you have the creative energy of tar? Myself... apparently. I decided that I would paint myself as I felt that day. Looking at the collection is interesting in that you can see how my moods shifted. I referred to this collection as the #SquidwardTentaclesChallenge as a sort of joke.
As the depression wanes so will this project I'm not overly fond of painting myself on a regular basis. I don't know if the painting helped the depression or if it naturally ran it's course but at least this project forced me to be creative at a time when I would have packed it all away. To view the body of work you can click here.