Orange Unicorn 16 – Nature 3

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As much as nature humbles me, breaking me down, admitting how small, how tiny and how quick I am to die… it also strengthens and reminds me that we are all beautiful.


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Orange Unicorn 14 – Nature 2

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It’s good to remember, that we’re just starting. I think this is true even for those of us who feel “old.” This world has lasted a lot longer than we have, and maybe that can help us see the world with a more open hand, open heart.


Previous episode – Next episode (to come)
Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog – button is off to the side!
You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

Orange Unicorn 14 – Nature

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Haven’t updated in awhile, but here it is. There’ll be a couple more with nature. After that I’ll be taking a break (I know, it’s like I was already taking a break….) from Orange Unicorn to reevaluate the style, the colors I use and how I want to keep moving forward with this project. As far as I can tell it’s been moving towards something a lot more self-care and mindfulness focused.

Thank you for being with me on this journey so far. It’s not always easy for me, but I’ve been updating this blog somewhat regularly for a year! And I hope you stick around on what is to come!


Previous episode – Next episode (to come)
Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog – button is off to the side!
You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

Drawing Series on Depression and Anxiety – Part II

(Continued from this post.)

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So it’s gotten better, but I want to go back to understand a little bit more of what this all was. Sometimes I think we’re quick to jump to the solution, we want to speed through the problem as fast we can—reach the other side. But we’re here on Earth, aren’t we? We’ll reach Heaven eventually, won’t we? We might as well learn to take it slow, and learn how to read our problems. We have time to figure things out. And that’s something I’ve learned, and am still learning: there’s time to figure things out. I guess sometimes the whole “You only live once,” makes us feel like we’re not enough in this moment.

Going back to the problem. Recently I felt the anxiety coming back again. This past year was hard. Everything in my life seemed to be spinning again. Things that were, weren’t anymore. The person I looked at in the mirror was different, unrecognizable. I felt like there was a hole in my stomach, a black hole sucking in everything I threw at it, never satisfied. And the ghost-like feeling started to come back.

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I asked a couple people on Facebook to maybe help me coin a word to sum up this feeling.

Alex Johnson came up with “Anonrious,” a combination of anonymous and vicarious. She explains that “vicarious living makes no difference in your own life,” while “anonymous” conveys the ghost sentiment.” Which I think works with the idea. As I see it, anonymity contains a certain powerlessness behind it. The anonymous are weakekend, while those who carry an identity are strengthened, and have power, and influence.Anxiety

Ian Nery Rocha came up with “Miere.” For his thought process, he said: “I would choose a short, seemingly unimportant [word], as the sentiment it describes.” I think this also fits well with the concept; the person dealing with depression often feels unimportant, asking for attention (and help) is an incredible effort in itself. They feel tiny, small, impossibly small, as I did.

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To tie it all together:

Depression is connected to problems of Body, problems related to physical sensations that we often shut out. Depression carries with it a ghost-like quality of life. Depression is tied to “I’m not enough.” It’s tied to “I should already be good at this—at living.” Depression brings with it a lack of identity, lack of importance and of influence. And we should understand more of this reality before we go throwing solutions at a friend dealing with these emotions.

I still carry my Sadness with me. There’s still part of me that is enamored with him; he feels like he’s a piece of me. I want him. He makes me more real. But through therapy, the practice of mindfulness, and through the help of friends and family, I’ve also learned how to not let him take over me anymore. I’ve learned to trust others to help me.

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This is all coming from my own experience. The world is big, and some people tell me that we have more than 7 billion people on this Earth. So please don’t assume that my own experiences encompass those of others. Each person may feel depression differently. They also will have different paths then mine, where therapy may not be enough and medication is needed. They may also find practices other than mindfulness and meditation that help them more.

The last thing I want to say is. Don’t feel like you have to worry about me. While I’m not perfect, I’ve grown a lot and have learned a variety of system-checks to keep my depression at bay. I’ve had the help of my parents and close friends. If my own life is ever at risk because of depression, I’ll let someone close, who can help me, know.


I wanted to talk about depression and anxiety. It’s something that I care deeply about, because of my own experiences and of those close to me. There’s a couple of other blog posts that touch a little bit on these topics. If you want to check them out here’s a small list of items relating to this topic, either by referencing it, or searching for solutions.

Liiiiiiiine

What Made Me Cry This Week – Yoga

Remember This 4

Remember This 3

Thank you for reading through this story, your support, time and attention means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. If you’d like to stay updated make sure to follow the blog – button is off to the side!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

Drawing Series on Depression and Anxiety

 

 

Imagine me, younger, around the age of ten. my hair is longer and lighter. My nose hasn’t grown yet; it still has soft curves. My eyelashes and eyebrows are dark and heavy, hiding my eyes a little. I’m standing on this hill, just outside my house, my legs straight, my gaze firm as I look out into the city that fills the valleys and climbs the hills. The hill I stand on is covered in a green sheet. Not exactly the green you’re thinking of, but the green contaminated with a blue cold and grey tint; the sky is filled with soft shapes and gradations of clouds. Everything feels a little bit quieter. And I’m there on the hill, just quietly sad. My body feels empty, and so does my heart.

I have this memory from childhood, and I don’t recall if it’s been fabricated by my brain or if it happened.

I always was a little bit of a sad person. Even a sad kid really. I’ve heard from people that they see me as a joyful, calm and happy person. But I think I always carried with me a certain weight of sadness. Sure, I also had my happy moments, but there was sadness lurking about within. Almost like my happiness always had to be tinted with sorrow.

I don’t know where it comes from, why it existed. Why it exists. Maybe it’s my sensitive heart. Or maybe it started when my friend died in elementary school, run over by a truck when he was biking. I was 7, he was 6.

Maybe I’ve been enamored to sadness. Sadness has a richness of its own. It’s very nuanced, and feels real and tangible.

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Wherever it came from, this sadness hit the hardest in my teenage years.When I entered puberty and suddenly saw everything changing around me—my own body, my friends, the place I lived in—suddenly carrying my friend Sadness wasn’t ok anymore.

While I struggled to grasp my emotions, to gain some control of them, a friend committed suicide. He was almost an acquaintance really, but we were getting closer. This event ignited my own sadness, and suddenly it burst into thoughts of self-harm; and suicide made its space in my mind. Talking with my mom, we agreed that I should see a psychologist.

I had already struggled with a mild degree of depression, but suddenly I felt like the whole world crashed on me—anxiety was thrown into the mix. I felt unable to solve my problems and unable to be of any help to others. Looking back, I think I felt like a ghost. Unable to affect any real force or change, in the world, or in myself. My pain was cerebral, emotional, abstract. But to some degree I truly felt alienated from my body, and I decided to forget my body. Unable to enact change, I let myself slip more and more into the abstract self, into my head, away from the physical.

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Going to a psychologist for the next year or so really helped me. It helped me deal with insecurities, helped me see myself not as incapable, but as weakened. I could build myself up, slowly.

(To be continued)


I’ll post the second part to this on Thursday the 8th.

I wanted to talk about depression and anxiety. It’s something that I care deeply about, because of my own experiences and of those close to me. There’s a couple of other blog posts that touch a little bit on these topics. If you want to check them out here’s a small list of items relating to this topic, either by referencing it, or searching for solutions.

Liiiiiiiine

What Made Me Cry This Week – Yoga

Remember This 4

Remember This 3

Thank you for reading through this story, your support, time and attention means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. If you’d like to stay updated make sure to follow the blog – button is off to the side!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

 

A trip to New England

So. I’ve been trying to write a blog post about my Boston Interim trip. But I’ve been searching so much for the “best” way to write about it that I haven’t done much. I decided then to just actually go with the easiest way to do it. Basically, I’ll share the watercolors I did of the places we went and share a little of what they mean. These are not necessarily in chronological order as I took pictures of places and did the watercolors afterwards.

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In Concord, we visited Walden Pond where the very famous Thoreau built his cabin and lived there for about 2 years. The pond is almost more of a lake, although still considered a pond because of how it was formed. Good grief, I still want to call it a lake. It’s pretty big. In the image you can see the beautiful yellow that it was when we visited it. The lake itself was frozen and covered in about a foot of snow? Correct me if I’m wrong. Some of my classmates went on it. I was a chicken and didn’t. I stayed ashore, safe and sound and saw two of my other friends slip and fall. I might’ve laughed a little.

This watercolor is a landscape seen from the IMG_6134Northbridge. This bridge is where a lot of confusion happened and made some of the Englishmen die when they were coming in to get guns and ammunition out of American people’s hands. It was very confusing to me what exactly happened. But it was a beautiful view, and I couldn’t help but to try and represent it somehow.

IMG_6135This is a picture from inside the Old Manse. Highlights: Nathaniel Hawthorne lived here for a little, but the house belonged to Emerson; Sophia Hawthorne (Nathaniel’s wife) used to write on the glass windows and there’s some lovely poems on there. I loved the light coming in the room through the window and I wanted to capture that somehow. Not perfect but I’m happy with the results. I feel like the watercolor is doing is breathing it’s own life (and textures) into the image.

This one is back again at the Northbridge, but from a different position. We went thereIMG_6136 more than once and I just loved this huge tree at the top of this hill. As you may notice, it was a constant struggle of mine to represent snow. Snow is so hard. Sometimes I just wanted to draw a snowflake on the ground so people could go like “Oh, yeah. That be snow.” With this one though I still really like the way the lines turned out.

IMG_6137Ok. So this one was a hard one to execute. It’s a foggy view over the ocean bay out onto the other side of it in Salem. So the interesting thing about Salem is that it was where they had these crazy weird trials against witches. They were very bad trials and there’s a lot of history around them, and speculation about how they were used by some people to gain land and power. Crazy stuff. Anyways. After we toured a house in Salem, we had some freetime to explore. The view from the shore was beautiful—the houses in the distant land were semi-obscured by this fog. It all really matched the whole “witches” vibe. Also, many new age stores in town. You can go crazy with crystals and incense here if you want.

So this one is actually from the restroom that I used for most of interim in the inn that IMG_6138we stayed. I know, splendid to know where I did my necessities and cleaned myself. But, I just really liked again the light coming in and I got into this weird “paint windows” vibe there. This one the curtains are semi-closed which I appreciated.

IMG_6139Here we have me playing around with watercolor during a game of Mafia. One late-night a big part of the group decided to play mafia. During it I decided to explore watercolors a little, I ended up adding a kite, because why not?

I’ve omitted a couple of watercolors here that I don’t know what they represent, and they don’t look good.

This one is based off a picture a friend took of Cape Cod. This place was incredible. It’s IMG_6141just a beach, really, but it was beautiful. The way was overcast and after we walked on the beach we headed back home. It was a moment of reflection for me, where I tried to engage my senses and absorb as much as I could of the beauty God made. My cellphone ran out of battery so I used a friend’s picture to depict a more in-land part. Again, struggles with snow.

Wohooo! That’s most of the watercolors I worked on. I also made a couple off of friend’s pictures as Thank You cards for the professors, because they were great throughout the interim.

I think you enjoyed this walk-through my watercolors. As usual, most of these are available for purchase — you can just write me an email or reach me on Instagram or Facebook to inquire pricing.

Later on I’ll also share some pictures from my sketchbook and talk a little bit more about other parts of the trip.


Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. So if you’d like to stay updated make sure to follow the blog – button is off to the side!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.