Fashion Fashion illustration Stories


July 7, 2016
aldraws fashion digital illustration dior couture

Black & White: Dior Couture Fall 2017

When I opened this blog months ago, I promised myself to keep it up and running consistently: I know I need my creativity in order to feel complete and keeping a blog is the only way to manage to express my artistic self with a little bit of regularity.

This is all because my brain is split exactly in two halves: the scientist, rational and methodological and the artist, chaotic and imaginative. These two halves are constantly fighting with each other in the attempt of becoming once and for all the predominant one. They are completely in contrast, like black and white. But not in an harmonic yin-yang kind of way. I’d say more like a black bold capital “WTF” splattered all over on an immaculate white page.

I am a scientist for most of my day: at work; with many of my friends (well, we don’t really talk about science while we get drunk sip wine at a bar on Friday night usually, but sometimes the conversation can shift towards these topics); with my boyfriend, who is a scientist too.
My artistic half is very often silenced, hidden. I hear it screaming sometimes from one side of my head “let me out!” but there is no time, no energy, too many worries… So very often, too often, I decide to ignore it.
And time passes.
And there I am, 4 months gone, no drawing made, not even a sketch. Nothing.
I find myself feeling gloomy and grey, dry, longing for my world of colors without even noticing.

That is when the alarm bell starts to ring, that is when the shouting in my head gets louder and louder, both my two halves are pushing me: “Al, wake up, start drawing again or you’re going to freak out and it will be a problem for the both of us!”.

I had a lot of these epiphanies in the past. The last time it happened it was a month ago, when I accepted a commission (the results will be soon on the blog, but you can already check some of the drawings in my Instagram feed 🙂 ) so I was “forced” to draw again after a few months of inactivity.

Despite the crazy deadline (20 drawings in 10 days, or better, nights. Gotta love challenges…) and the performance stress, while making these drawings I felt like liberated: my head was freely roaming in a world of colors and shapes, finally abstracting from all the issues and worries that every day are keeping my head too occupied and messy (those of you who suffer from generalized anxiety will understand what I mean…)
My drawing moments became almost meditation sessions.

At the end of it all I was exhausted, but also proud to have made the deadline and completely re-energized: I had defeated, if only for a while, that horrible clash in my head and I was feeling like my two halves were reunited in a much more balanced type of black and white. Maybe not as balanced as yin-yang yet, but at least not as in contrast as before.

I don’t know if I will ever reach a permanent equilibrium, honestly. My psychologist used to tell me my two personalities will probably always be in a fight and the struggle to reach the almost-impossible goal of making them get along perfectly was damaging me. She always suggested I should rather accept it, and try to live with it.
On one hand, she’s right. But on the other I feel like when I am drawing everything is at peace again.

And here I am, promising myself once again to keep it up with painting as regularly as I can. I don’t know if it will work as well as I hope, there are major life changes on the horizon (I’ll talk about this soon, but I can already say it involves moving far far away from my beloved Belgium…) and at work the situation is never quiet, but I’ll do my best… I feel like I owe it to myself, like a healthy diet for my brain.

Wish me luck.

xx Al

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  • Reply Adam Pickford July 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    "Ah, thoughts – they're not so easy to control." -Henrik Ibsen.

    Such an interesting insight into your mentality. I think it's clear that it is beneficial to you that both sides of your brain are stimulated to some degree, of course they may never be harmonious for long or at all, with one side being the more dominant. But to completely neglect one side obviously brings you a lot of stress after a while. Even the smallest of creative outputs could prove beneficial at keeping those gloomy thoughts at bay.

    I only really have a creative side so my mentality is full on chaotic and I feel frustrated when that inevitable wall of un-productivity erects itself before me. My anxiety plays havoc during these times.

    Sounds like an exciting future ahead for you though and I look forward to reading the post regarding it and the revelation as to just how far far away from Belgium you are heading 😀

  • Reply Al July 14, 2016 at 10:57 am

    My dear Adam, you're so right…

    Sometimes I wish I was only scientist, or only artist (like you) but, as you said, the moments in which you encounter a wall are horrible. At least I have my other side to turn to in case the other stops functioning temporarily… I should look at this bright side but for me looking at the half-empty glass is easier and I go in total panic mode :p
    But I'll really force myself to keep drawing, and see where I'll go from here.

    Many kisses

    xx Al

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