One of the most dreaded questions I receive as an artist is:
What is the meaning behind this painting?*
Often, when I encounter this question, my answer is vague and followed by nervous laughter. It's not because I don't have a real answer...it's because...well, how can I explain this...
[Get comfortable. This one's a doozy.]
It's a well known fact that many artist's use their art as a form of therapy. Instead of yelling at loved ones, punching walls, binging on drugs, driving off bridges, wallowing in self pity and other such lovely events...many artists choose to release and unleash through colors, shapes and the creation of something better.
From personal experience...often times...every brushstroke, every line, every shade carries with it many tears, gritted teeth, white knuckles and furrowed brows**.
Looks innocent enough but did you know this drawing was inspired by prepubescent nights of playing love songs on the boombox, hoping somewhere, some pretty boy crush heard me?...and then the bitterness that ensued?
And I'm not really sure why so much art is inspired by bad times instead of good***. Let's just say...when you're happy...the last thing you need is to hole up in your studio stooped over a canvas by your lonesome self.
So when someone points at one of my drawings and asks me what the meaning is; it's as if I was just asked to open up my diary and start reading aloud.
*A close second would be, "So, what's your real job?"
**And I'm not even that deep. Can you imagine the really troubled wackos out there???
***I know my art is all fairy tales and bubblegum on the surface but if I dig deep enough, there's usually something there. It can be something as simple and powerful as "Who ate the last slice of cake?! ANGST!!!"