Posts Tagged ‘my artwork’

Dreeeeeam. Dream dream dreeeam…

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Whenever I want you all I have to do
Is dream

I do not write stories.

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Dr. Papernick sat quietly at the end of his desk, short white clown hair darting every which way, his small blue eyes nearly level to the desktop, peering into a chickenwire cage.

He sat far back from the tableside, leaning forward in his rolling armless chair, elbows propped on his wide knees, lips smashed into his folded hands, scowling pensively. His breathing hissed audibly across his knuckles, in part due to his unfortunate sinuses, which he had inherited from his equally unfortunate mother, and in part for the fact that since he was alone, essentially, he didn’t much care how loudly his breath proclaimed itself.

Dr. Papernick removed his delicate wire glasses, turning his wrist to his forehead, holding them out of the way as he rubbed at his face with his other hand. Little piles of sawdust leapt from the side of the cage on the desk, like buckets of seawater from a boat, as a fluttering white ball kicked its evening nest into order.

Sleep. Sweet, elusive, nourishing, sleep.

“Hooo..” Dr. Papernick sighed.

“Don’t mind me, just take your time, Nibbles.” He continued, finding at the bottom of his well of half-formed thoughts a genuine amusement in the mouse’s apparent insomnia on lab night.

Nibbles was, of course, not the mouse’s official name. The mouse’s official name, though it was currently the only mouse in Dr. Papernick’s lab, was C7436. But who actually refers to the specimens by their numbers to themselves, anyway? Dr. Papernick hoped that no one did, and for a moment believed so, but reconsidered when he imagined Ingrid, the stern, short-haired lady from finance.

He was pretty sure, upon a moment of reflection, that stern inhuman Ingrid from finance has numbers for everyone, and never refers to them otherwise.

For anything that does it, (which Ingrid probably didn’t, come to think of that too..) Dr. Papernick had long since observed that sleep is vital to the function of being in the world. While simultaneously existing as an utmost luxury, without it, systems fail, breaches expand, and synapses misfire in tiny twinkling ends, like zinc powder on the rough metal wire of a lit sparkler.

Plus, if you’re human, your skin gets all greasy, and that’s just sorta.. gross.

“Blech..” Slurred Dr. Papernick, returning his smeared glasses to his nosebridge while wiping his other hand on his pant leg, before reclining in his chair, purposely avoiding looking directly at the clock, which, had he the courage to look, claimed that it was 4:27 in the morning.

Dr. Papernick wondered for a moment if his new intern, a skinny first year blond named Randy, had caffeinated Nibbles as a practical joke, and quickly chased the notion from his head.

Nibbles had apparently found a suitable arrangement for the cage’s sawdust, and was laying still, half buried under the flakes of formally majestic, and now dead, trees.

Dr. Papernick turned his attention to the instrument panel beside the desk, waiting for the equipment to detect the movement of the animals eyes to indicate that Nibbles had gone into REM sleep.

For some, like Dr. Papernick, the bony tendrils of the hopeless dark burrow easily through cracks left by sleep deprivation. At this moment, he considered the vast, seemingly unending loneliness in this life he chose, and how much he missed having had a wife.

Whether by a full belly or a starving one, too much water or not enough, environmental inconsistencies, a pet-child-person-thing who has decided that your rest is beside the point, or a maliciously good book, sleep is often finicky, even for a man whose passion is to study it. Especially for a man whose passion is to study it.

Sometimes, even the gotten sleep simply isn’t restful, isn’t tuned to be effective against the corrosion of waking life. That is the type of sleep Dr. Papernick had grown used to getting. And that is the type of sleep that Dr. Papernick would prefer to make obsolete with the help of his friend, Nibbles.

Just as the instruments begin to twitch and light, Dr. Papernick, who had foolishly reclined in his chair some 5 minutes ago at 4:27 in the morning without thinking it through, fell asleep.

Sometimes, if one is particularly skilled at sleeping authentically, or perhaps particularly lucky, the Elves of Unlimited Architecture, as I’ve come to call them, appear in dreams to repair the damage the modern world inflicts upon the conscious.

These are the birthplace of the good sleeps, the restful sleeps, the efficient sleeps.

The Elves of Unlimited Architecture are skilled, knowledgable, and formless. They take to the structure of the world that’s being created while the mind churns and flops and scrubs at itself like the agitator of a washing machine. Often times the Elves are even invisible, undetectable in dreamspace.

Much like a mirror to the nostril, the only surefire way to tell if Elves have colonized one’s head is to observe a sleeping person’s eyes as they unconsciously, automatically, follow the path of the their meticulous mending, darting back and forth in seemingly random sequences.

But those sequences aren’t random. Not random at all.

Sometimes the Elves arrive as small humanoid figures with large-eyed sewing needles, expertly darning cavernous rifts the likes of which have not been seen in this world since the days of Bunyan dragging his giant pickaxe along a river in what would eventually become Arizona.

Sometimes they are deft, horrifying spiders, with dripping fangs and quills, spinning patchy webs of thick stitching from black saliva that always looks wet.

Sometimes they resemble a membrane between the tattered edges of the rifts in our minds, shimmering thin oozing rainbow like an oil slick on the blacktop after an long awaited deluge, their edges foaming and bubbling and glittering with light as the whole of their strange bodiless entities heal and pull tiny fractures of sentience back into place.

Sometimes, they are medics, in the field, stumbling and waddling over endless dunes of fleshy grey, with giant packs on their backs, securing gaping ground wounds with super glue.

At the moment, Dr. Papernick is dreaming of a man, who is, but also is not, his father, sleeping in an old wooden rocking chair he does, but also does not, recognize.

The man who is not Dr. Papernick’s father, though massive and Viking and intimidating like his father was, is snoring from his bearded face, snuggled under an antique nightcap. His large dirtynailed fingers still thread through the metal handle holding his nearly self-snuffled candle, flickering lazily though there is no breeze. Along his arm is the deep red sleeve of a fine evening robe, and along that sleeve is a row of ants leading up his neck and to his ear.

In his dream, Dr. Papernick notes his father, continues across the room, through the wall, and into a mall that is also not a mall with a woman he desires but does not trust, where though he wants to walk faster, he is unable to do so by force of some infuriating, invisible, thigh-high mall mud.

Had Dr. Papernick looked closer at the man who is not his father, he would have noticed the ants, an endless line of ants, marching up his father’s arm, were not ants at all, but in fact were Elves. Tiny Elves, in green pointed hats and tiny black boots, each holding a metal staple.

Gently, with the fragile speed of the lightest of penstrokes, the instrument needle attached to Nibbles dances across a marching strip of paper.

How this story came to be:

This is entitled “I do not write stories” because, generally, I do not. I write first person monologues, derived from my own meanderings through my own head, presented in unrelatable and selfish fashions. I wrote a fanfiction about raping Jonathan Crane in 2005 or so, but that hardly counts to me, as the only character I created myself was.. well, me, as his secretary.

Recently, my friend Neil and I had an exchange wherein he complimented me on my eyelashes. I generally try to just accept compliments nowadays rather than diminish them by killing the mystery. In this case, I felt comfortable, and confided in him that my eyelashes were in fact extensions.

He paused a moment before saying “Now I am imagining tiny little elves, sewing on your eyelashes”

While I had been comfortable enough to admit my eyelashes were not in fact my eyelashes, I had not apparently been comfortable enough to say what I thought next, which was something along the lines of “Wow! I used to think there were tiny little spotted men in my belly that pushed out my poo when it was time! You think things like that too?!”

I didn’t say that, but a connection happened despite my appropriate modesty – Neil, this magical, vibrant, walking inspiration of a human being, said those things when they came to him, and if not that, he tended to write them down, allowing his meandering fantasy snapshots to become whole and real in this world. And the people who read his stories loved him for it.

I, however, had grown away from being like that, and only occasionally talked about those wonderful whimsical childlike images that ring through my head, often at breakneck pace.

This afternoon, as I lay down for a nap after a particularly difficult night of little sleep, I found myself imagining little elves, the ones from Dr. Papernick’s fathers arm, sewing together the defeated fragments of my mind, the gaps that were keeping me overthinking, from feeling happy, and from feeling hungry when I knew I must be.

I imagined that if I imagined the elves healing me while I was falling asleep, perhaps they would continue once I slipped under. Maybe my sleep would be more restful, more fueling, and I would wake up feeling whole again.

The nap helped, sure, but more importantly, I wrote down that thought, and the quick burst of all the types of elves that could exist in different dream worlds. Later in the day, I wrote them down in my first person fashion, including the image I had of the old man with dirty nails holding his weeping candlestick, and decided to take it a step further, and create Mr. Papernick, and Nibbles, to help illustrate the story.

This is a first draft, and I may play with it, or I may never touch it again. I would have liked to have potentially written of more senses but didn’t want it to be too long, and am happy with how it turned out. It felt good to write, to let this little story exist for its own sake, for the joy of having written it, and for a job well done.

Special thanks to Neil Gaiman, Beau Prichard, Scotto Moore, Leah Papernick and Ingrid Edman Markenfelt, whose names were the only part of them that I used.

I thought fondly of you all while writing this.

Don’t go to art school

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

You’ve got other options.

You don’t have to go to college to be an artist. Not once have I needed my diploma to get a job. Nobody cares. The education is all that matters. The work that you produce should be your sole concern.

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Mute Photo Concept: digital artwork

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Photographed by Mute Photo Concept in Stockholm, Sweden and post processed by me