Possible Themes (Social Anxiety and Depression)

Normally i like to make work that is self contained and doesn’t take too much reflection from the viewer to understand. It’s about line or form or colour or pattern and doesn’t reference anything other than itself. This time I’m thinking of trying to express something that is relevant to me or something that I am interested in outside of exploring pure visual elements.

The most obvious one for me is my social anxiety disorder. It’s something that I have much more control over than I did when I was younger. It resulted in me losing years of my life which I spent mostly on my own, too down to do anything or call any of my friends or go outside and as a result now I feel like I have less social experience at 26 than most people have at 16, and definitely less relationship experience. I’ve largely been dependent on the internet and video games to keep myself from going totally over the edge.

It’s been suggested to me that reliance on escapism through computers hasn’t really helped my social abilities and confidence but then there were long periods when I was at my absolute worst where I didn’t have access to anything like that, for example I spent a year in a room in this horrible house where the router was stolen, and then my laptop was stolen and then a few months later my phone was stolen so all my possible communication with the outside world had been taken away but it didn’t make me feel encouraged to leave the house. If anything I felt much worse not being able to talk to anybody via text or email or facebook, and actually I think a lot of the improvement in my social confidence has come from talking to people online. I still find talking to people face to face quite scary a lot of the time (often overwhelmingly scary) but it’s definitely easier than it used to be. And as a result of spending so much time isolated I find a lot of things scary that most people just do normally as part of their everyday life.

In relation to that I have found on the independent games scene recently some very evocative and thought provoking titles which use fairly minimal pixel graphics to tell a story. Video games being such a big interest of mine and also the resurgence of pixels to create beautiful art (See Cart Life), maybe combining pixels with aspects of my life where I have felt particularly trapped or hopeless due to social anxiety could be something to work with… Or at least the start of an investigation.

cart life

Cart Life

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor

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