I suffer from paranoia. For years i had delusions. I literally made shit up and believed it all. From not trusting people, or feeling hard done by, to image warping and not knowing how i look, dysmorphophobia, and negative obsessions with social situations that make no sense to anyone i share them with. I am a mentalist.
“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”
Have you ever been to a life drawing class? I went recently for the first time.. The model was a large flumpy naked lady with a bushy beaver stood in a macho body builders pose. Sitting at the back i was amazed as all the other students sketched her form within a few seconds. I tried and just couldn’t get it. Lines were darting and overlapping in ever messier frantic scribbles all over the page as i searched frantically for the definition of my subject. I missed her next pose as i tried to fix this hideous drawing!
For her third pose she lay on her side propped up on an elbow, her big veiny tits lay in front of her on the floor and her afro-muff reached out at us. A relaxed almost cocky look snarled across on her saggy face that hung over her clenched fist. I again had an epileptic fit with my pencil and drew a huge never ending scribble, a 2 year old may have done better. Shit, i thought as the pencil tore a hole through to the next page. All the artists were drawing amazing versions of her… all shaded and perfect proportions. Mine looked like my nephew had just sunk a crate of red bull and attacked the page. The teacher walked over and took a peek, i was sweating in embarrassment and frustration.
She told me to hold up my pencil and measure the girl. I then realised my rectangle was too wide, so i rubbed out one edge and made her thinner. And again. And again. And thinner. And thinner. Holy Shit… I had drawn her about three times wider than she really was. i hoped the model would never see my satanic splurge as i feared she may cry and never pose again!
I realised i was drawing how my conditioned mind was seeing her. Not that i got anything against fat people, as i have been a porker myself a few times throughout the years! But i wasn’t looking at what was in front of me, i was just drawing my preconceived idea of how i thought a large lady would look and this idea was getting in the way of reality.
“Sight obscures. Noise deafens. Desire messes with your heart. The world messes with your mind. A Master watches the world but keeps focused on what’s real.” -Lao Tzu
While on holiday a few months later i was given a book called Drawing With The Right Side of The Brain. The main point of the book was about smashing preconceived ideas of how we think things look. Removing delusions and learning how to see. For real. One exercise entailed copying a picture from the book turned upside down. As i turned around my finished drawing i was amazed at how good it was. How could this be? It looked as if i had advanced forward a few years in the space of 5 minutes!!!!
Well, it’s because as the subject was upside down i didn’t recognise it quite so easily – i was copying random lines. The filter between reality and and my brain was shattered, as instead of drawing a nose, or eye, or mouth i was now just copying lines that went in certain directions and therefore not imposing any of my assumptions of how it should look upon it.
This amazed me. Trying to draw people for years and never being able to capture the essence of them, i suddenly realised, trying is WRONG! The essence will come by itself if you can get the form right, and the form comes from seeing things as they ARE not as we THINK they are! We need to forget how we THINK a nose should look and just draw the lines angles and shadows that are in front of us. Switch off the thinking brain – just look. This can be done by tricking the brain by hanging upside down (might be awkward to draw with all the blood running to your head – unless you hang your model upside down) or by just drawing the negative space instead of concentrating on our subject so intensely. Or just learning to zone in on the parts you are drawing and training to switch off the filter. Anything that enables us to forget what we are drawing!!!!!! How strange !
So can i use these drawing techniques to smash all the other shit i have made-up in my life? In 2003 i woke up from an operation and did not recognise myself. A NHS jaw op, which changed the shape of my face. It fucked my brain in. I’ll write about this in more detail another time.. but i have such a warped sense of self you would not begin to believe it. I look in the mirror and am always shocked when i see a person who i don’t know – even to this day, i don’t know me. In learning how to see what really is, can i smash my body dysmorphic type obsessions and delusions? Time to remove the filter and look at what actually is and forget all my negative ideas and delusions i have built up.
But, can these delusions have a place in art?
All my music is mixed wrong. i am not measuring the relationship of various sounds to each other in the music i listen to. When i create i am ending up with a completely weird and warped version of music – a representation of how i hear the music i love, not how it actually sounds. The results are sometimes terrible, and sometimes a amazing…. often technically wrong, but i don’t want to sound exactly like the music i that inspires me!! – I want to sound like me… like my representation of everything i experience. Not like the other 9million bedroom producers in my street. My music is completely inaccurate, as is my view of reality….like the drawing of the 5 foot wide crazy frantic lady with holes in….. It’s deluded, warped, wrong and fucked up… and therefore completely unique! It’s my expression of how i see this world.
“No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.”
― C.N. Bovee