Why the concept artist sketched throughout his cancer treatment
Why did you produce and show art during this difficult time?
Drawing is what I do, it’s everything. I wanted to make sure something that brings me such enjoyment when things are going well could also do that when things were at a low point. So I set up a desk and studio area in my living room, to be around my family and still have a space to do art.
Was the process therapeutic?
I’m not sure. Drawing did help me focus on something other than feeling awful. It let me look at what I was doing and remember that things won’t stay like this. Last year nothing was normal. Our life, schedule, house: everything was disrupted and different. So when I could sit and draw and create it was like sinking back into my world. It enabled me to feel like I was still engaged in my life.
One of the main reasons I could focus on my work and not worry too much was because our art community, friends, family and people who didn’t even know me personally helped us. Andrea and Chris Alzmann, Iain McCaig and Karla Ortiz started a GoFundMe page. We were floored by the support and can’t thank people enough for everything that they did for us.
Are there times where engaging in art as a therapeutic technique could be a destructive process?
I think that as an artist you may have to be aware of how deeply you fall into your own brain. I have a wife and children and they keep me pretty grounded. I can go down some pretty dark roads, but I have someone there to tap me on the shoulder and not let me lose track of myself.