A Personal Study Of How Making May Be Able To Help Me Begin To Overcome Some Parts Of My Trauma 


STEP 0: PREFACE
        SUMMER 2015

        I think I was 17 at the time. I may have just turned 18. What a time (I’m old now). One summer night, I was invited to a friend of a friend’s home.
      Long story short, I ended up trying some strange, intense drugs surrounded by unfamiliar people. As you might imagine, I ended up having a bad trip. It was by far the most painful experience of my life. Since then, I have been struggling with anxiety and depression.
        Recently, I realized how traumatic this experience was for me, and decided to take action to begin to overcome it. “Purge the toxins,” as my high school soccer coach would say back in the day.
STEP 1: WRITING
        FEBRUARY 2021

        I began by choosing eight key words that were indicative of my experience then and now. From there, I tried my hand at the surrealist technique of automatic writing (writing without thinking). Compared to typical journaling, this exercise made me write in a more detailed, free flowing, and inquisitive manner. I learned some things about myself that I don’t think I would have otherwise, and the process helped me reframe my experience in my mind.
STEP 2: MAKING
        MARCH 2021

        My next step on this strange journey was to begin to make. I picked apart my writings in search of descriptive words that I could easily express with ink and a brush. For example, instead of trying to reflect the entirety of my pain in one ink painting, I painted one small part of that pain. By approaching it this way, I removed most of the pressure inherit to the experience.
STEP 3: REFINING
        APRIL 2021

        Once I had a large collection of paintings that I felt, in one way or another, reflected my writings, I began to collage them together. I distorted them, cut them up, and added color and other digital elements. This was the most challenging part of the entire process. I had to keep reminding myself that the goal was to create a represention of my feelings, not the representation of them. 
STEP 4: REFLECTING
        MAY 2021

        So, was it worth it? I don’t know. I’m proud of what I made, and I definitely learned a lot about myself along the way, but I don’t think the process truly purged the toxins. I know it was never the end goal, but I wish It worked that way.
        Would I reccomend this process to others? I think making a habit of STEP 1 and STEP 2 might be a good idea for anyone struggling with trauma or mental health issues, it’s not exclusive to artists. I believe it would be most effective as a daily practice, for example, simply writing and making based on your feelings at the end of the day.
        What next? Now it’s time to find a therapist or psychiatrist that specializes in trauma treatment and take a long nap.


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An Inquiry of Trauma That Is Far, Far Too Personal?

Eight Glimpses Into The Abyss?

Eight Pieces of Art That Mean A Lot to Me?

A Guide To Keep Moving Forward?

A Reminder That I Need A Cabin In The Woods?

Attempts To Calm The Rapid Beating of My Heart?

A Long Stay At The Bottom Of The Ocean?

Everything I Sometimes Feel?

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