Sunday, April 24, 2011



Inspired by a loss of personal freedom, which is largely self imposed, “imagine” aims to explore the possibilities we lose as we grow older. I started this project with research into what it is children posess that we as adults have lost. The answer seems to be the ability to immerse oneself in imaginative play. Current research has found that this ability tends to decrease with age, and that the current methods used to teach todays youth may be depriving children of “unstructured playtime”.

What I aim to explore in this series is the part of this situation which recieves less attention: evidence that adults lose the ability to play imaginatively with age. A growing culture of people have begun to push back this trend and play imaginatively as adults. Flashmobs, urban exploration, historical reenactments, and numerous other groups and subcultures seek to extract adventure and fun from the otehrwise standard routines of life. The webcomic XKCD has embraced this sort of sentimental exploration of the ‘inner child’. The comic depicts characters who merge fantasy with reality frequently, and I have found the ideas to accurately voice the growing discord I feel with reality as it presents itself to me. Comic 137 entitled “Dreams” examines the limitations we impose upon ourselves as we age:

“The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind…” an unnamed stick figure says. “We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out before us. We see the same things every day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us.
“And no, I don't have all the answers… But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of some day easing my fit into a mold… It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up.
“This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can:

xkcd comic #150 "Grownups"

The Floor is Lava

Secret Agent

Super Hero


"Above." is a series of photos taken to inspire people to explore their surroundings. Also included are aerial views of the locations. Not well received by initial audiences.

Gunslinger II

A pretty straightforward retooling of my original "Gunslinger" series. This time, however, I've inserted a female element to make a subtle point about female roles in history.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There's something going on.

Or at least it feels that way. There's a movement going on. Perhaps it's a facet that's always been there and I'm just now noticing, but it doesn't feel that way.

Take a look at Owl City, the rash of childhood shows and movies being remade, footie pajamas for adults (Awesome, I know), artists working in fantasy and make-believe (myself included), and a general theme swirling around in culture: A lot of people are afraid to grow up. I mean, it makes perfect sense. I was talking with my mom the other day when I asked her "Is it really true that you used to be able to just go out and get a job?" She informed me that, yes, it was once that easy. I was at a loss for words.

People are living with their parents for longer and longer time frames now. Hell, healthcare lets 'children' stay on their parent's healthcare for an insane amount of time.

The world is a scary and unfriendly place. And not in the same ways we're used to either. We were taught as kids that the world was hard to get into, that it took hard work to get things done. But, we were not really taught that hard work often doesn't pay off. That's really confusing. And I seriously understand why that's a little frightening.

Why I'm making the art I do (yes there's a relevant point in here) is clearer to me now. I'm making art for a sort of confused generation. A generation which was told that the world rewards hard work. A generation which sees before it more natural disasters, economic downfall, terrorism, crime, and fear than we were prepared for. And as we enter adulthood it's like walking into a burning building. What in holy hell are we supposed to do? I make art. That art has dealt with our (my) escapes so far. Fantasy. Make-Believe. I suppose the next step would be to make art which addresses the fear, and I have absolutely no idea how to go about doing that.