Love Letters to the Void: Project Fund
I have a vulnerable ask. I have a project that I want to make a reality, but I need the time to do it. Money = studio time.
I am working on an illustrated memoir called Love Letters to the Void. My story is a difficult one to tell: one of child abuse, broken families, loss, neglect, body dysmorphia, and trauma. It is also a story of resiliency, of finding beauty even during moments of great sadness. It is a story about finding my chosen family and defining love for myself. It is about how my imagination saved my life.
My ask is this: that if my art has made a difference in your life and if you think this kind of story matters, consider donating to my book project fund. Share the project with others. Whether it is one dollar or a thousand, or simply sharing this project with another person, every little thing helps.
I think this is an important story. I think this book should exist in the world. I am making this book. I have already created 20 illustration-spreads. These funds will help me to set aside the time I need to finish this project and you can be a part of making that happen. Any donation is welcome and will receive a thank you art-card and acknowledgment when the book is made.
All donation levels will receive thank-you cards and acknowledgements within the book.
Donations of $25 and higher will also receive copies of my zine, “My Body”
Donations of $50 and higher will receive high quality art prints from the series.
Donations of $150 and higher will receive 8.5” x 11” watercolor commissions.
Donations of $500 and higher will receive original art commissions in acrylic, oil, or watercolor—dimensions dependent on donation amount.
MY ANOREXIA MONSTER
I was taught to hate my body. I was a good student and excelled at punishing myself for taking up too much space.
That taught hatred became an internal self-hatred. That self-hatred evolved into an Anorexia Monster. This Anorexia Monster compelled me to do strange things. As an eight year old I would divine rituals to try to make myself thin. I would pray to a God I didn’t know asking to be skinny. I would cut photos of myself, trimming my arms and legs to the width I wished they were.
At eleven I began to starve myself. The little food I did eat I would throw up. I would vomit in the backyard because I was afraid of the toilet clogging.
I thought everything would change for the better if I were thin. This is what the Anorexia Monster told me. I starved myself into a skeleton, but the abuse at home didn’t stop. The lessons were false. Fatness was no longer my fatal flaw; instead it was everything else about me.
As a teen I knew I wanted to expand my idea of “beautiful” to something that included myself in a healthy and stable body. I didn’t know how to do that. I was still being abused. I hated my body. The Anorexia Monster whispered that I was always a few pounds away from happiness.
As an art school student I made paintings about body image. Things began to shift in me. I was beginning to make my own home, hundreds of miles away from where I was raised. I still hated my body, but that hatred was beginning to soften.
I am now twenty-eight. I am an adult that has put myself in to therapy. I have not lived in that abusive household for over ten years, but I still grapple with the legacy of child abuse. My eating disorder and body-dysmorphia are phantoms I still wrestle with. Sometimes it feels like the Anorexia Monster is gone, but then it re-emerges unexpectedly to tell me the tale of happiness I could find if I were only thinner. I am still tempted.
I am a painter, a writer, a dorky-dancer. I am a reader, a tennis player, a loud-laugher. I am an avoider of dirty dishes. I am an eating disorder survivor. I am a teacher of children and college students alike.
I love teaching. I love to share what I love. I love seeing that spark of excitement and understanding in a student’s eye. I am fiercely protective of my students: the idea of anyone teaching them to hate any part of themselves makes my blood boil.
I want to be kind to myself in the way that I am kind to my students. I want to be protective of myself in the way I am protective of my students. I want to tell that Anorexia Monster to fuck off.
I am teaching myself and learning how to love this body of mine. I am new at this. I am stumbling. I need more practice at it, but I am practicing. The making of this book is the practicing.