Friday, November 27, 2015

Inherently flawed

This is a digital interpretation of a highschoolers class artwork. Is it my work? Well, I did make it. But I didn't come up with it. I was directly inspired by something. Can I rightly say this is my work? This work is rather a byproduct of a highschoolers work, by way of inspiration. A derivative, maybe. Coming up with the initial idea was the part I couldn't do on my own, and isn't that the most important part?

I would never allow myself to feel too proud about that. Not that I otherwise would, the picture is not all that remarkable anyway.

I saw the original work in a picture sent to my phone. It hung on the wall of a public school in a rural town near Vasa. It was a lot simpler, just the outlines of a skull, with a cutout of marijuana for eyes. Underneath was the text, roughly translated, "it's bad for me, but I want it". Which is either genius or just plain sad, I can't really tell.

Why do we do we want things that we know are no good? We do it all the time. I know rationally that there is no benefit from eating candy, but yet I indulge myself. I mean, I know sugar is bad, and I'm a reasonable person. Sugar is the deadliest poison in western society. Why eat it? Ever? Because it tastes good? Yes, it tastes good. For the fifteen minutes it might take to eat the whole bag. The benefit doesn't go further than that. It doesn't make my life better, and it does in fact have the potential to make it a lot worse.

Humans are flawed like that. We might know, rationally, what's best. But logic is in a failing struggle to overthrow our feelings and cravings. Logic has to keep you away from candy ALL the time, but your craving only needs to win once. It's a losing battle. It's why we get diabetes and heart disease. Because people can't abstain from self-indulgence.

I read that humanity is more depressed than ever. The article said, that depression is rampant because people today lack a sense of community. In the digital age, where we can connect to anyone, anywhere, we're farther away from each other than ever before. And it's not because of mobile phones, it's not because of videogames, it's not because we're materialistic and it's not because there is something wrong with us; It's because of society. In this individualist, capitalist society, there is only me, no we. No them, no us, no people. And it's not how humans were designed. We're social above all else, but not today, in this place. In this world where careers are more important than family, and the me is more important that the us.

And it breaks us. In a dire situation, a short-term solution is often chosen. It doesn't treat the problem of chronic loneliness, the quick fix of self-indulgence only makes us feel better right now. It leads to vanity, greed, obesity, drug-use, death by your chosen method of feeling a bit better right now. Atleast according to the premise of the article.

Monday, November 16, 2015

struggle against evil

I guess there's no way avoiding what happened in Paris. Well, not only in Paris. Friday the thirteenth lived up to it's reputation, not only in homely Europe but in many far corners of the world.

But I'm not sure which I thought was more sad; the hate and xenophobic war drums booming around on social media or the widespread sorrow. While the grief may hurt, the hate sure does more harm. People seem to have trouble separating Islamic extremism from your everyday Muslims, which leads to horrible stigmatization. 

In Finland, we have had freedom of religion for some time. Our country, like most of the modern world, is built upon libertarian ideals. Each to their own. It's a very dear thing, but something we may easily take for granted. It's extremely distressing to read peoples anonymous opinions on various message boards, and even moreso to see how these destructive ideas gain support instead of scorn and disdain. Some of the things I read and saw upvoted on social medium Jodel were downright depressing.

This recent cruelty has nothing to do with Islam. It has to do with human evil. Devilish people will find reasons to be evil, and there's no stopping it. Human immorality is a game of dominos. Vengeance is a concept that is never very far from thought. To fight evil is hopeless, it will always find us, affect us. The only thing we can do is try to keep ourselves from being evil in return. And that, I've noticed, is something we're terrible at.

This is a portrait of a young Tom Selleck. No particular reason behind it, the reference I found by making an image search for "mustache". It's nice to draw from reference, coldly copying. It lets me just shut my brain off and let routine and technique take over for a couple hours. It's not as interesting or difficult as drawing from mind or imagination, but as I've said before, it serves a certain purpose as an exercise and it is rather therapeutic.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Black rainbows

The jumbled mess of confused colours you see above might be my all time favourite drawing. It's titled "Rainbow", and I drew it when I was four. The fact that I have created this fills me with immense pride. This is better than every other drawing I've drawn, because this is utterly and completely unrecreatable. I couldn't come up with anything as wonderfully ironic however I tried. And I could never emulate the scratchy chaotic nature of the pencil strokes. I could never put  my mind in the same place it was when I drew this.

The things I draw now are surely superior in a technical sense, but are they better? Who's to judge? What's important? There is no absolute truth, there are only subjective opinions and fabricated agreements. There is no universal standard and no calculable value for art.

But I didn't know any of this when I drew that rainbow. Maybe I didn't even know what a rainbow looked like, or perhaps I just couldn't find any other colours. Maybe I was fed up with the picture and decided to scrap it halfway. I don't know. But I do know this is unique among my art. All the other things I've done, I can create again, but this I can not.

I drew something and half finished it for this entry, but I decided that it was so much less interesting than "Regnbåge" that it didn't deserve to be in an entry. Finding inspiration is definitely and always the most difficult part in maintaining an art and philosophy (read:philosophical) blog.