A couple of exciting things have happened in the last few weeks. First, the realization that my antidepressants are working and that my condition is stabilizing. Second, the fine folks of WordPress plucking me out of cyber obscurity by featuring one of my posts on ‘Freshly Pressed’. Stop the presses — The Huffington Post just picked it up too! And last but not least, the surprise discovery that I have a hidden talent in…doodling.
The following images are of my first “collection”, The Misfit Animals. Meet Ozzy the Ostracized Ostrich, Annie the Antisocial Anteater, Malcolm the Maladjusted Meerkat, and Camille the Capricious Camel.
The impetus behind the series? Just this simple observation: we can be so preoccupied by certain traits or circumstances we forget that the individual is far more complex than that.
I see this in myself when I am deep in depression, and in any mortal who struggles with insecurities. At work, I see it in students who can’t get past the “shame” of having been diagnosed with a learning disability.
The same tunnel-vision effect applies in the way we view others. I see this in the way people react to those who are “different” because of physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities. And last but not least, I also see this in the way we are quick to condemn and dehumanize criminal offenders based on their crime or pathological condition (I will write more on this soon).
When we fail to see people (be it ourselves or others) all their complexity, instead reducing individuals to specific traits or behaviors, we will fail to recognize their beauty, value, and humanity.
(‘The Misfit Animals’ can now be purchased as art prints and a plethora of other products at my new Society6 store. For those who, like me, often fear being “boring”, Nikki the Nondescript Narwhal will soon be joining the family.)