In today’s Spotlight Sunday I will be talking about Timothy. I wanted to write about Timothy because over this past week a lot has happened in my life about mental health and in particular, self worth. It hasn’t been from me but from people I know and it got me thinking about it.
Self worth is not something I have strong grasp on. I have never thought highly of myself and honestly I know that it sets me back. As an artist it’s even more present in my life as I want this to be my career. Knowing what your work is worth is not something you are taught at University and I had to learn and fight my own negativity. I am my own worst critic.
I’m talking about self worth because Timothy was created in a time I was feeling pretty low. I had recently come out of work because it was having heavy physical and mental constrictions on me and I now know that is linked to my Autism. I felt like I was trying to find my place in the world and I knew what it was I wanted to do I just didn’t think it was a possibility. My depression had got a hold on me and I thought my artwork was not any good. From experience this is a common feeling in creative people as they constantly strive to do better.
Despite these doubts I pushed myself into the direction I wanted to be going and started down the route of creating a business to sell my work. I felt my work was not to the standard I wanted it to be because my limited funds meant I could only afford wood and not acetate like my previous work. I saved my money and bought myself a single sheet of A1 acetate just like the ones the original anxiety monsters were painted onto. It was cold in the studio and it had been untouched for a few months at this point so I cleared it all out and sat in the January air with a blank canvas in front of me.
There was a wide range of inks left over from University at my disposal and I was instantly drawn to a red acrylic ink that I used sparsely for stronger red tones. I built a initial form out of the crimson ink and bled the acrylic ink in flesh out the colour.
When I added the turquoise acrylic ink to the red it didn’t blend but sat on the surface with a slight bleed that followed the natural flow of the liquid. The dark blue was added with a mixture of the turquoise which stopped the two colours mixing together and blending into a brown colour.
I had the two colours working together but I feel the paintings need a third colour as an accent to complete it.Yellow is a powerful colour to use alongside the red and using it in the centre mean’t your eye was drawn into the image. I have a yellow acrylic ink I’m fond of and use rarely because it is a bright colour and can become overpowering.
Timothy took a long time to dry in the cold and took around four to five days until all the ink had dried. This mixture of the turquoise and the red was visually striking and I really liked the form I had made. The next step was to develop a body and a face from the shape I had created. When standing back from the painting I could see the top spikes being tall ears and the blue being a smoke like effect coming away from a hand. Following the outline of shapes the ink had made I moved on to using my Posca pens to detail the form building up the monster I could see.
Over the weeks the monster was starting to form and I began to rediscover the joy I once found the year before when at University. This is what I want to do and I started to feel that passion return to me as the days went by. Timothy helped me get back into the swing of creating and ever since January I have been consistently creating work and my opinion of it has improved overall.
Over the past couple of weeks the discussion of self worth has come up a lot. I have learnt that I need to be kinder to myself and just enjoy the creation of the work and concentrate on those feelings rather than the outcome. I need accept that I have positives about my work and that it has flaws too. I have a long way to go until I can say I am past those periods of doubt and heavy self criticism but I know that I am improving and I have used my own experiences to help others feeling the same way I do.
Timothy is a creation from those doubts. He is the manifestation of the negativity and struggles I had created for myself and allowed me to surpass those feelings. He is a important reminder of why I do this and the joy I find in creating. Timothy will remain as one of my favourite of the anxiety monsters and he has proven to be a favourite with the public too.
Timothy is available now on the MessyMiscreation store in two different sized prints and in original.
The A3 prints are a limited edition of 50 that are signed and numbered on the reverse side.
The A5 Diddy prints are available on the store under the Diddy Print section of the store. They are not in limited edition but are signed on the reverse side. Diddy prints are on 250gsm paper with a gorgeous glossy finish.
Timothy is also available in original and framed. He was originally taken to the National Autistic Society’s Autism Con for sale but is now on the online store.