Our Skin is Our Freedom

Illustration

dealing with procrastinationThe shower tells me to slow down. It’s the end of the night. It’s time to calm my soul, dress it for sleeping. But I can feel my body still longs in desire for anything that tells me, “you’ve done enough today.” Earlier today I didn’t finish editing that image. The animation is still in the same state it was last week, as are those two emails that are sitting in the drafts folder. I didn’t start on any of the three illustrations I have due soon. I took a nap midday, before I even had lunch. And forgot about half the other things that are on my list of to-dos and to-dreams.

anxiety and self-care
My hands are scratching at the walls that contain me, my skin. It’s so limited to its own time and space. Joined with the warm droplets that are supposed to soothe, but only excite irritation.

My hands don’t stop. I circle in the shower, feeling everything, everything tearing apart, doom imminent, knocking at the door.

skinfreedom2

My eyes dart around thinking about everything that I didn’t do that day. In every corner of the stall, associating with each crevice my eyes can find, a different disappointment for the day. All the dreams I wanted to start on, the assignments, tasks, and small self-imposed habits that today were proven that they are indeed not anywhere close to habits.

My hands don’t stop, my eyes don’t stop and my breathing joins in. Anxious, it is breathinbreathingbreathing. Beating to the rhythm of hopes, dreams, pressures, expectations, and fears. Shame and guilt arise in a chest that already feels like it’s drowning. And drowning is not where you wanna be at right before sleeping. And you want to sleep because tomorrow will be an early start. And you can’t stop it. Stop your hands, your eyes, your breathing.

skinfreedom3

You stop. For a second your breath stops, holding itself saying: “I’m done. I’m exhausted, tired, done.” And then it lets the breath seep out, with it your whole body slips into that air. You leave with exasperation in the flow of air through your lips, and you come back in with relief.

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You didn’t accomplish everything you wanted today. But you breathed, and you walked and lived. It’s all in that breath, that gives up, it lets go, and everything opens up.

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Your eyes relax, and the eyebrows that were before lifted, finally rest on the knowledge of safety. Your hands stops scratching and decides instead to lay by the side of your thighs. Your breathing is breath, and it is stroke, and it is freedom, and acceptance.

your skin is your freedom - mindfulness
It is there. You’re there. Your skin is your freedom, and your body your temple.

I wanted to do them all

Sketchbook, Uncategorized
image of a cage
It’s hard to be realistic on our goals. I mean. At least for people like me? People that dream, and see so much opportunity everywhere, so much that can be. Everything is another road, another path that could be traveled. Trying to be realistic is like asking us to cage the bird, to kill the fire, to drain the energy, imprison the free spirit.
So why do you ask me that? Why do you ask me to be realistic?

New Year’s Resolutions (2019)

Holidays, Illustration, To Keep On Dreaming

new years final

So I did one post that was more on the sad side of things. Reflecting on some of the harder parts of my life. But I also wanted a blog post that was slightly more hopeful?

Last year I also had a list of resolutions. I didn’t reach many of them, but I was still happy that I had the list to which I could compare myself. It was a good way to assess where I am, where I was. I feel like there was growth and change. So this year I decided to do another list of goals. I’m trying to keep this one shorter. It’ll be 10 things for me to focus on this year, and try and get nailed down. Are these realistic? Probably not. Am I writing them down? Yes.

Art Career

  1. Start streaming on Twitch, and have 50 followers there by the end of the year
  2. Have three videos posted on YouTube
  3. Find an illustration agent
  4. Finish 10 personal commissions
  5. Grow my Instagram following to 1,640, double of what I currently have
  6. Write more, post on my blog twice a month?

Personal Life

  1. Go to a psychologist to figure myself out
  2. Go to church at least twice a month
  3. Exercise 3 times a week
  4. Eat a portion of salad once a day

 

Orange Unicorn 16 – Nature 3

Orange Unicorn
Orange-Unicorn_016

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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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 2

Orange Unicorn

Orange-Unicorn_015

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

Orange Unicorn

Orange-Unicorn_014

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.

Orange Unicorn 13 – Joe Is

Orange Unicorn

Joe-IsOrange-Unicorn_013BOrange-Unicorn_013COrange-Unicorn_013DOrange-Unicorn_013EOrange-Unicorn_013FOrange-Unicorn_013GOrange-Unicorn_013HOrange-Unicorn_013I

We all are Joe.

If it resonated with you, share it with someone that you want to show your appreciation for!


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

Sem categoria

 

 

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.

Loneliness2-1

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.

 

Orange Unicorn – Remember This 11

Orange Unicorn

Orange Unicorn - We Are Body

Sometimes we forget that we’re this body. When we walk through this life we forget to feel our bodies fully, breath, touch, smells, sight, tastes. Feel your body fully. Remember.


 

I’m really proud of this one. Even though I broke several of my own-given rules for the comic. Oh wells. I used reference for it and I feel I should link to that. There’s nudity though, so just be warned of that.

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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 – Remember This 07

Orange Unicorn

Orange Unicorn - Remember This

A little bit different than my usual for Orange Unicorn. But it’s something I need to remember. People, with their actions, and their reactions to me, are outside of my control. And that’s okay.


Previous episode – Next episode

Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. Going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog!

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