‘Living in a box’

Back in March I started this illustration in which I wanted to depict my own perspective of a lockdown through my surrealist-type illustration. As always with me it is never as easy or cut and dry as following a brief. I like things to evolve organically and with this illustration that became a natural thing. Worked from a blank canvas in which no under draft existed it was a matter of drawing in sections day by day (and no it was not a daily thing, quite beyond that really). This made it all the more organic in its evolution as day by day perspectives change under lockdown.
Even the style of lines being drawn have their own significance as they portray the mood evolution I was taking as an individual during the near seven week period under lockdown (a week longer than most due to initial self isolation). You could say ‘that the new normality’ was beginning to creep into my work without me realising it was happening until the final days when it became apparent.
The illustration becomes a journal of a mindset journey through a lockdown. Paths, steps, turns, subtle influencers, rural evolution and isolation contrasting with urban decay. Paths that lead to darkness and inner dark depths and others that lead to shadows and natural habitats.
There is no one significance to the illustration which plays on the diary feel of how it was created to provide the viewer his own options of interpretation. It might seem as a cheat when I say this but ultimately it’s the very objective of the piece in which one guiding idea is allowed to evolve.
So why the man in the cardboard box floating balloon? It’s a question I ask myself but it seemed relevant to bring him in meeting the very direction of the paths and making the illustration flow.
More so, there was never meant to be a backdrop, but the very nature and evolution of the illustration led me to actually wake up when I had concluded it was close to finish and a 3am spurt saw me completing that backdrop by 4.30am. Quite apt really as it highlighted how the one thing affected during this period of lockdown has been the daily routines, sleep now an act which sometimes feels difficult to fit in at the times it should usually happen, the body is just not that tired, even if the mind sometimes feels it needs to smash out of a cage, even though you know there is no release from this ‘new normality’ it exists and is present in our lives.
What I do advise any artist who finds themselves with that mental block because they are not getting the variety of changes in their life normal daily routine of being able to walk outside etc brings is to not even think about it. Draw that line on the paper it will soon become two lines. Eventually it will be a complete piece as your mind has not stopped working, it is just trying to adjust to a new environment.

Living in a box

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