This woodcut started in 2022 has been the labor of 4 years to get to this point.
1. How It Started:
- At start I knew the issue (the erosion of teen wellness in society) I wanted to address, but the question was – How do I address it in a new way that is dynamic? And, how do I narrow this down.
2. How I Narrowed the Focus:
- Over 3 years of concept drawings and idea discussions, I just could not figure out what to focus on. How to illustrate it. How to get across the specific problem and connect it to the public’s experience. BUT, after months of researching I narrowed the focus – mental health in teens + the explosion of therapy needed for teens based on how many ACES kids met. So, the questions that came to mind were:
- How many kids do need therapy? How bad is this problem?How much therapy options and services are being provided in schools nationwide?
- How much does the public know about this?
- These questions led to the answer that the public has no real clue how bad the problem is and how far out of control society has gotten. Parents and community members have no idea of the scope and scale. So, the question was – why? How do they miss it?
3. How it Became a Drawing:
- After the 4 years of research and thought and finally deriving answers to those questions above, I got it. We as a society are pumping out kids who are damaged meeting so many ACES that astounding numbers of kids need therapy. And, therapy is now more important in more schools, than teaching the subjects. Money and resources are boundless and it just keeps compounding. BUT, unless people look, ask questions, or pay close attention they do not see how bad the problem is. So, in essence I discovered that America has become a factory of sort – quietly pumping out therapy couches and damaged kids while nobody asks why? Or what is so wrong with our communities and families that this is the case. Hence, the drawing over 3 – 4 months came to be. (examine the image above)
4. How does it become Dynamic in a new way?
- I figured out once I knew it was a factory, that I needed to show kids and therapy couches being made in a way that mimics cars (assembly-line method). Once, I had that concept, I had to find a way for people to miss it. You heard right. They need to miss it when they see the print. So, I housed the factor floors in a very elaborate and absurd building that is purposefully incongruous, mal-aligned, and wrong in many ways. This compliments the absurdity of creating damaged kids and therapy couches in mass production. The HOPE! That people will have to closely examine each window as if snooping or peeping to discover the problem. Just like real life.