by Anthony Kotowicz
- Starting with pen, I rough out the idea in super fast sketching.
- Then I refine the idea with a series of quick sketches. At this point I make a few changes closer to what I believe the final image will be.
- Then quickly sketch the individual elements with a bit more detail to gauge the scope and detail of each element.
- Next is the final detailed drawing done with pencil and paper. At this point, most of the final details have been established and, although their placement and colours may differ later, the core elements are in place
- Then I draw the digital versions of the images and group them to ease their placement within the final image.
- Colours, effects and details are added as needed.
- Final placement of elements is established and the image is completed.
‘Feeling B.A.D’ is about awareness. I feel that all-too-often, darker, somewhat negative issues are swept under the rug as “too hard” or “not THAT serious”, often sugar-coated for fear of dealing with the issues and going through a potentially lengthy recovery period.
The image is all about the small person (neither male nor female specifically) in the bottom left corner. They are huddled in a sad, foetal-like position with their back to the onslaught issues plaguing their soul. Behind this person are the issues represented in three ways or colours or types in line with the three issues: Bullying, Addiction and Depression (B.A.D).
‘Bullied’ is represented by the three people causing emotional and or physical harm in some way. The girl, for example, turns away from the person, rejecting them, possibly in disgust. The next character points and laughs, teasing and taunting, obviously making a victim of the clearly smaller and weaker subject. The third person is in mid-attack, about to punch the young victim, causing even further harm both physically and emotionally.
‘Addicted’ is represented by the array of substances often abused to escape one’s personal situation and negative environment. Easily accessible and often more enjoyable that the abuse at the hands of antagonisers, Drugs can play a role in one’s emotional numbing to their personal real-world situation. Addiction is now more understood to be a product of environment and circumstance over the so-called ‘addictive quality’ of the substances themselves.
‘Depressed’ is represented by the 3 Dark Demons encroaching and overwhelming the sufferer with dark thoughts under an all-encompassing black veil which uses bullying and substance abuse to further fuel that particular fire. The hands of the demons mimic that of the bullies above. The eye colours represent the emotions and traits associated with the torment: Green - is for the negative materialistic, selfish, indifferent nature of a tormentor. Yellow - is for cowardice and fear, felt in this case as a result of the hands of an emotional attack. Red - is rage, felt both by the victim and towards the victim for any known and unknown reasons. The result is physical AND emotional damage.
Finally, in the top right corner, as highlighted by the star-burst, is the potential end result; the final option taken by someone suffering so badly. The most common of these options is represented here in less-than-graphic detail, yet hopefully, still with enough detail for the right impact. The colour of the starburst - gradient dark to light (as opposed to the bottom left corner gradient going light to dark - innocent to haunted) - symbolises the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ as potentially the only option available or within reason to a person during such hard times. The angle of the spokes of the starburst also help indicate the result of all these negative things coming to a head, ie. leading towards the ultimate sacrifice in search of solace.
All this came to me as I woke up one morning thinking about a concept that would raise awareness and start dialogues, questions and investigations; in search for answers in the face of the serious nature of the content of the image and the subject matter contained therein. It is important to acknowledge these issues so a solution may be sought after for those who are in need, suffering daily, under the blanket of despair exacerbated by what most people perceive to just be, ‘Feeling B.A.D’.