UnBecoming

My blog is a compilation of drawings. The drawings are done in popular cartoon styles from the 1900’s to now. Some recognizable ones are the 20s with superman or Steven Universe in the present. The character depicted throughout time is nameless promoting the reflection of yourself upon the character. He has a small frown displaying disatisfaction throughout the ages. His thoughts mimic those of someone with depression and/or anxiety to show his insecurities and problems with being changed and unacceptance. Also the use of a male character is to emphasize its not just girls with this mental issue. Guys may have it as well contrary to modern stereotypes. At the end of the collection, the boy is erasing himself. This is obviously symbolizing suicide. Though it is a topic most people would like to overlook, it is a problem we must deal with. I relate to this because my grandpa and uncle have committed suicide.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. (National Institute of Mental Health). One of these disorders is depression. Depression is a big deal in high school students and college students. The amount of homework, peer pressure, and self esteem really affects the population. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment (adaa.org) however, many people are ashamed or scared to seek help. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, are in danger, or are feeling suicidal, call 911 immediately. Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433. Immediate Medical Assistance: 911. Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863. There is no shame in getting help. At the end of my collection, the man character commites suicide as indicated by his head not being present and the eraser on his ever present pencil being gone, like a smoking gun. Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults (nytimes.com). This is exceptional due to the  numerous availiable help centers for people. Its mostly because of social stigmas that go unspoken but slide through in undertones within a conversation.

Throughout time, art has varied greatly especially in the past century like I focused in on. In the beginning of the twentieth century people were still striving for realism with their art, even in their cartoons, but they began experimenting with exaggeration. Most notably, the nose has been exaggerated in political cartoons of the era so as to make light of serious subjects that may be featured like war.  The next style I have is based around an english comic, The Adventures of Tintin, and in this style you can see a seperation from the realism as artists resort to more playful and childlike characters. However, in the 1930s and 1940s World War II began. People needeed someone to look towards for hope and security. This inspired the age of comics. Superman and Batman are both a result of this era. Superman was almighty jumping buildings in a single bound and Batman was encouragement in the depression afterwards inspiring the orphans with his tragic past and giving the poor an ideal with boundless money, enough to make yourself your own hero.

The next is based on the original Astroboy cartoons which came about when Americans had an interest in Japan and Japanese culture after blowing them up apparently. This was really the rise of Hello Kitty products in the US but Astroboy came too although not quite as large. Instead of the strong heros from the past Astroboy was an anime which tends to focus on cute things and beautiful things.  The Jetsons and the Flintstones are both sixties shows that served as comic relief from the Cold War and other tensions at the time. The style was made to be goofy and unrealistic bringing delight through the characters nonsensical shaped and movements. The humor was slapstick and simple so everyone could enjoy it and not just the privleged. The seventies were the rise of equality and hippie culture. This is seen in the Scooby Doo series as the Mystery Machine takes full advantage of the hippie stereotype and the characters have bright colors that are also representative of the culture, specifically Daphne. The cartoon also gives subtle nods to the concept of “stoner food” in the form of Shaggy and how he eats ungodly amounts of foods and says “man” repeatedly.

The eighties highlights the long running show The Simpsons  which is comedic and used as entertainment in many houses then and now! This is when styles stop reflecting the times as much as comentating on it tthrough satire or just honing in on topics the see as important, funny, or controversial.The nineties is when the franchise pokemon premiered and had a show made after it which is what I showed as my character. For the early 2000s I created a Fairly Odd Parents/Danny Phantom-esque design for my original chracter. Lastly, for the 2010’s I have a charecter resembling the Steven Universe television show which is known for its representation of sexuality and race.

The character is plain and unnamed so that hopefully, you can reflect yourself upon his struggle with selfworth. His expression and overall emotions that he conveys closely follows how one who is confused and sad may changed to depression and then to spite. Hating the world, then themselves, then resorting to suicide. Though I haven’t been alive when a loved one has committed suicide, I’ve still been affected by its wake. As previously stated my dads dad and my dads brother both committed suicide. I’ve always wondered what it would’ve been like to meet them, or still have them in my life today. In fact, they are my only deceased grandparent and my only deceased uncle, including my dad’s girlfriends family. I wonder what they’d be like and what they’d think of me if they were still here. Even though there’s nothing I could do I wish there was. To either meet them or have them here today.

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