(If you're looking for the prints, please click here.)
It all started with this line: "You can cut all the flowers, but spring will still come."
Based on a quote by Chilean poet-diplomat Pablo Neruda in the context of revolution, it speaks to indestructible hope and rebirth in the face of oppression and hate.
I've long wanted to create a series of girls based on the seasons. I'm sure this is subconsciously thanks to being exposed to Alphonse Mucha's work while on a visit to Prague in 2006. His fine-art-meets-anime art nouveau style changed my understanding of what art could be.
But I didn't want it to be simply about the aesthetics of the four seasons. It wasn't until I read Neruda's quote that I knew how I wanted to do it.
It was during the summer that I came across the quote. I was sad about many things going on in the world. Black Lives Matter was at its peak intensity, the plight of innocent Syrian refugees was heavy on our minds, our demoralizing election cycle was getting worse every week, the list goes on and on.
My sketchbook entry around this time. It was a strange week of heartbreak at one end of the spectrum and distraction on the other.
This quote reminded me that no matter how much certain groups may try to oppress, terrorize, and hate, history has shown that at the end of the day, Good wins. And that's what this quote means to me. 'You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep Spring from coming.'
I was also inspired by this quote by Yoko Ono:
“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.”
This idea is true on a macro world-level as well as on a micro personal- level. While we may most enjoy periods of calm and abundance, we can also appreciate times of difficulty and even suffering. After all, that is what leads to needed change and growth.
What I've ended up with is a set of drawings that explore the natural phases of birth, growth, destruction and renewal in life. Ironically, even the drawing process itself felt meta. At some point, I was almost ready to give up because I felt it was not going right and I was bleeding hours on it. But it finally all clicked and now I am happy with how it turned out.
Seasons in the Shop
The seasons drawings are available as a set of "calendar" cards and also individually as prints. I'm really pleased to be using these custom wood stands I had made for the first time.
My idea with the "story stand" is for it to function as both a seasonal calendar as well as a reminder of life's cyclical nature. So you can use it to display either the actual season, or the season/phase of the cycle you identify with at the moment. If you're feeling like things are falling apart or not going well, it also serves as a reminder that Spring will eventually come. And to enjoy every bit of Summer that you have :)
Any purchase from the Seasons set also includes a special edition 'Summer Night' print, while supplies last. A process e-zine is also in the works for anyone who is interested in my creation process.
Shop them all here.
Thank you for reading. Cheers :)