What significant life experiences have led you into wanting to transmute your inner being into your artistry?
As far as specific moment and experiences, I started off drawing as a child. I was always really magnetized toward it. It is interesting because the anniversary of the experience I am thinking of was yesterday, December 7th. Gosh, I'm so old now. 28 years ago, I was an eleven year old boy and I had a massive brain surgery. It was an out of nowhere, unexpected, and traumatic type of event. The healing process for that was one of those things where one day you are an eleven year old boy and the next you are lying there and they are using bone saws to cut into your head.
Entirely shellshocked, I assume?
Yeah. It was like a new person was born. And the person that came out was pretty shocked and traumatized about the world and what felt safe and didn't. My face was really disfigured afterwards for awhile. They peeled my face off and went into my cortex. I was immediately able to see a totally different side of people and humanity.
I hate to look at it from this perspective, but, I am assuming that walking down the street was a lot more impactful which lead to a shifting of your inner structure and perception of others?
Yes, for sure. I had this huge scar that ran across my entire forehead from left to right and down the right side of my head and during the recovery process, if I had to go out in public, I would wear a hoodie all the time. It's funny, I was just reliving the story the other day. I actually had an eleven year old girl come to visit me yesterday. A friend of the family had heard an interview where I talked about my experience and this girl had gone through a similar operation just earlier this year. She came out to just talk about it. We realized as she was here that she was visiting the day before the anniversary of when this happened to me. I felt like I was reliving the story all over again. I remember building up the courage to walk in the mall. You know, the mall is a pretty big deal when you are eleven. I was really adamant about not wearing the hood that day and just face it. As I was relaying the story, I realized that had been a huge mistake. People are very bad about hiding their initial reactions and I saw the superficial and how much visuals do matter. Once you don't blend in with everyone else's version of normal, it becomes really glaringly obvious how judgmental people can be. It was a dark side of people that I saw, and that pushed me farther into my introverted nature and reclusiveness. There was a part of me that stopped trusting the outside world and stopped wanting to engage with and be around people, so I retreated to the world of my sketch book. My sketch book was totally safe and I had total control of the domain of my imagination. I realized I had no control over the world. This world can take you at absolutely any second and it can be absolutely meaningless. There was nothing we could have done to prevent this and/or know that this was going to happen. If they hadn’t caught it within twelve hours, a blood clot could have busted and I could have died instantly. It was really a pretty crazy wake up call.