After a week or so of doodling, I’ve sketched out a design for my next piece. It’s still in its nascent stages, but I think it’s got enough potential to develop further, and since I still have to weave off the current warp, I’ve got plenty of time to work on it.
Here it is:
I like this on several levels:
- It’s personal. I’ve lived most of this – certainly the depressive phases, though I never (thank goodness!) had a full-blown manic phase, only hypomania.
- It contains complex ideas – what living with bipolar disorder is like, how to help/not help, common myths about bipolar disorder – you have to chew on it a bit to take the whole thing in.
- It offers something to the viewer from all distances. Far away, you see the yin-yang, the hands, and the thread – which is enough to communicate the idea of bipolar disorder and mental illness generally. Closer up (say, five feet) you can see the myths about bipolar disorder that are woven into the background, and that the yin-yang is actually a (stylized) brain. And standing right in front of it, you can take in the details of each hemisphere (bright crystals and burned spots for mania, jagged bits of metal etc. for depression), and you can read the text attached to each lead sinker.
I expect I’ll make quite a few changes before this piece is ready for prime time, but it will take me some weeks to weave off the rest of the current warp, so I’ll have plenty of time to work out the details.
For the curious, here is the brainstorming process that led to this design:
At first, I was stuck for ideas for a new piece. I doodled up a couple of designs that were going nowhere. I finally decided to play Design Poker with some of the ideas I’d been noodling on, and produced (among others) this design. Card ideas are in top left, the actual design is bottom right.
I liked this concept enough that I did a second round of Design Poker around this idea, coming up with these two possibilities (among others):
While these are still definitely partial designs, you can see the evolution of ideas through the set.
And, finally, I arrived at the design at the top of this post (repeated here for convenience):
While these are all crude sketches, they do illustrate the gradual coalescing of ideas into designs. I’m looking forward to the continued evolution of this design!
And just to make sure I haven’t forgotten the cat place mats…here are Fritz and Tigress, demonstrating the cat yin-yang.
lh brandt says
Amazing. Love your direction. So intense can vision it as a series, triptych.
I am deeply touched by your intention to weave this very personal statement. I know that you’ll be tweaking it for a while, but I think the basic concept is brilliant. I look forward to seeing the completed work.
Unhelpful for depression: Buck up! Oh, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Are you taking meds for this? etc.
Unhelpful for mania: Oooooo, I wish I had your energy! Do they really have meds to tone down your happiness? etc.