You descend down the stairs into a small room; the last couple beams of daylight giving way to the flicker from a campfire on the old stone walls. Surrounding the burning pile are three goblins asleep on the floor. The leftovers of last night's dinner are strewn about the floor, and their grotesque faces are lit by the orange glow. What do you do?” At the end of the day most adventurers would kill the goblins without a second thought because theyʼre “evil”.
My work uses these goblins and other creatures to express the negative feelings spurred up by my own mental struggles and the societal frustrations that cause them. When creating a new piece I explore my emotions and dig through lore, to find references to monsters that could feel the same way or act as a symbol of that feeling. For example, to me a skeleton is more than a creature of evil; itʼs a nervous wreck of shaking bones and chattering teeth, constantly worried about what is around the corner.My work explores these other ideas about monsters, sometimes casting the viewer as the monster in the hopes to create empathy and potentially even open up a dialogue about their own monstrous feelings.
Stylistically I am influenced by the bold lines, high contrast, and flat colors of the art in Dungeons & Dragons books and the cheap animation styles of shows like HE-MAN or Hanna Barberaʼs cartoons. Thematically I am inspired by the films of Stanley Kubrick, the horrific tales of H.P. Lovecraft, and the hilariously depressing cartoons of Don Hertzfeldt. My more formal choices are inspired the graphic nature of Roy Lichtenstein, the flowing forms of Post-Impressionism, the unique abstraction of folk art throughout history, and my own experience with graphic design. This mass array of different media has made me want to express the hardships that come along with mental illness and our uncaring world without disregarding the importance of our lives.