Division is only a step from death.
Differences respected may keep us alive;
yet here we are, my dear family:
– Kris Leliel
That part of me
was never me.
Damning guilty pleasures.
Praying for my convicted spirit.
Decreeing my flesh
stay separate from my soul.
Pleading for a baptism
dawn after dawn.
A Plea to Death
Sweet Death, please forgive me.
I mistakenly thought of you intimately.
Your terrifying transformations
spur agonizing approximations
of how harshly grief will eat me.
Recently I posted an update of my recent project on Instagram.
It’s not too bad so far… I’m loving that while I paint, I get into kind of a zone, but when I get uneasy or unsure, listening to other artists and finding other artists helped me put things into a more productive perspective. Let me share what I’ve found.
First one, Ethan Becker. This guy is a goof, but he gave really good advice.
He is totally against drawing from imagination. Instead, you should reference and “steal” from other artists you admire, which is any art that makes you go, “Yes! I want to do that!” In the past, my otaku (anime loving) self really wanted to work on the anime/manga style, but it screwed me and my confidence up so bad. Some people do amazing anime art, but I am just not one of those people mostly because some of the styles even from my favorite artists, wasn’t what I really wanted to do. It took a while for the real artist in me to dig out of the pile of manga and let me know that they wanted to be more of an illustrator so they could create work that was more conceptual or evoked a story/ambience.
One artist who really caught my attention and lit that spark under my ass was Nan Fe , a dark fantasy/horror artist from Singapore.
love lockdown by Nan Fe
Most of Nan Fe’s art has a dark mood that is sensual, macabre, gloomy, mystical; I could go on, but these are the moods I want to embody in my work. I am IN LOVE with her art. The piece she made here is based on the COVID19 crisis. I sense so much doom and vulnerability from this piece combined with a genuine desire to reconnect again. Love it.
Another artist who inspires me and is actually a new discovery while I was looking for references for my new project is Denis Forkas Kostromitin
Death and the Maiden by Denis Forkas
There’s something about Denis’s art that gives off almost an Italian renaissance atmosphere braided with metaphysical and occult symbolism. Studying Denis’s art helped be develop a better understanding of value, mood, texture, and even realizing that the cliche “less is more” actually works. This article, displays more of his work.
After I found a few artists that inspire, the next question was, “Where do I start?” I’ve never been much of a painter, but always wanted to try. Sketching was more my schtick, so going out of my comfort zone was intimidating until I found another art teacher on YouTube: Marco Bucci
I watched a few of his “10 Minutes To Better Painting” series and felt less and less afraid with each lesson. I was doing less overthinking and doing more critical thinking. Marco really is an excellent teacher with a very “teacher” sense of humor, but I couldn’t be more grateful that I came across him.
Since finding all these artists, painting hasn’t been excruciating. Now I’m just exploring and learning.
Poetry as Painting Prompts
After I published my horror short story “Autonomy Bleeds Black” (Available on Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Scribd, and more) I really wanted to create some illustration for it, but I wasn’t confident. This is as far as I got and I never shared the completion of the work because I changed the story a bit.
So, to build up my confidence, I’m using some of my dark poetry pieces as painting prompts. Like I said, I’ve been having a lot of fun learning and exploring painting rather than pressuring myself and hope to share the journey with you all.
Thanks for reading. Be well and if you’re a budding or experienced artist, comment below, I would love any advice or artist recommendations.
Forbidden flavors I was banned from tasting.
Warmth I was scolded for embracing.
A radiant fire gleaming as I fell
for an insecure god’s manipulative spell.
Blood boiling once I learned of dignity
while taught to drain it for undeserved pity.
Confidence became a mix of flavor,
sweet when pious, sour to the savior
who wanted to save me from myself,
condemning autonomy as an agent of Hell.
Unsure if my immobilization
was inspired by one-sided conversation
where you’re pushing, pushing me down
asking me how I ended up on the ground.
“It’s my fault,” I say, “I keep falling.”
Breathing in dust, my brain is stalling.
You command me to walk,
my feet drag and drop
until I see a cliff,
like a true escapist,
and pretend to fall again.
Another lying breath.
Another fall closer to death.
– Kris Leliel
Or let me read to you: The Monster Within
It’s a pit or a grave.
Whichever, I tend to stay
when the sorcery of love dances
on my corpse day by day.
But something died
and love isn’t necromancy.
Eleven ounces of flesh
rotting, barely breathing.
Many tried to revive her.
I welcome them to the grave
of a lost cause, damaged goods,
a bleak, paradoxical save.
Faint beats of my flesh
responding to a loving touch,
but a kind of suicide captures her
because she’s never enough.
“Would you fucking try?” I ask,
“Would you bleed so I can breathe again?”
She’ll bleed herself dry, drown my eyes,
to assert her choice for death.
She wants to die with the lost love,
though it’s not so lost on cosmic paths.
Stars confirm love’s sweet blisses,
its harshness, its beauty, its wraths.
I plead for more beats; she rots,
resenting me six feet under
because I drank poisoned beliefs
of shallow loves, faux thunder,
an alluring ether seeking prey,
necrophiliacs raping my weak-beating flesh.
Perhaps I’m the abuser, the poison shame,
for demanding her strength in weakness.
Am I the sickness? Am I the rot?
Yes, I’m deepening the grave,
barely trying to leave, not taking her with me
though she whispers, “I don’t want to stay.”
But we stay. We rot. We bleed.
We concede. We cycle. We mourn.
At a loss for a remedy, though considering necromancy,
I’m unsure, dear heart, you’ll ever be reborn.
How have I done this to you?
How have I done this to myself?
Love was once our native currency.
Now I’m convinced she poisons our wealth.
Reoccurring, this poison, this dread,
this seemingly infinite sorrow.
It won’t kill itself or let us die.
It bleeds us–I bleed us–every ‘morrow.
How, how did I get here?
This damning, infinite fear.
Why won’t you leave me,
you mirror so clear?
The rot won’t leave my reflection.
Blink, you begin to see
the world as a mirror.
When you look around, you paint with fire,
and dance in the ashes.
Your glares are necromancy
raising passions once dead.
Your irises, an endless color palette
capturing your technicolor heart.
Your stare transform into screams;
music to the spirits.
Sparks in your sight
bring hearts to burst.
Witchcraft on your eyelashes
fluttering with the impossible.
magic becomes incredibly possible.
I may submit this poem into a contest. What do you think?
I’m so grateful for those who read the poem from the last post. I’d love feedback on the video I made where I read the poem aloud along with the ambient music I’ve made. But I do wonder if anyone besides me still likes to listen to poetry.
I hope to post more content, starting with this poetry series. Music covers, art, and my novel are still a go, of course.