May 5th, 2014

In the late end of 1995, shortly after graduating high school, I embarked on the personal mission to become an ‘artist’. The notion of which was supplanted in me since childhood. I recall my earliest drawings were of Garfield in grade 3. I learned from the back of a comic how Jim Davis drew the character. It seemed to me to be an apparent hit with everyone that seen the drawing. So I drew more and continued to draw them at the behest of anyone that asked. During this time, family turmoil aside, it became a way of getting praise and giving others some sort of apparent joy. Joy in the eyes of a child, to any extent, is a precious commodity.
The encouragement carried forward for a time. When we moved from one city to another, given the nature of my fathers career in government transportation work, the artwork took a back seat for a time, as I followed other family members into finding ‘joy’ in petty crime. The thrill of wreaking havoc, thru vandalism and theft. Finding friends who shared the mutual interest in seeing how many items they could get out of the local grocery store was an amusing thing. We would usually end our day off by running through construction sites and smashing all we could. My mother and father for a time were busy watching out after others in the family. Abuse brings rebellion and rebellion in turn when fostered brings much disheartening regrets by all involved. The friends I kept at that time were in no better straights. Small town life was limited and the opportunities for delinquent behavior abundant. This all ended when my Dad finally let the RCMP, police, have at me in a back office for a good 20 minute break down. The particulars of that conversation are a little hazy now, but I do know that officer of all people finally hit an emotional chord for me, I only wish I knew now which one that was.
My mother alternatively, found the parents of every other kid I was hanging out with. In the end all my relationships with them ended, right then and there. What friends I had left were of a different sort. Mostly younger than me and more appreciative of a creative style of ‘play’. We would often create characters and draw these out, inspired by what was popular back then. He-man, GI Joe, MASK, Transformers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to name but a few. Most of those my Mom disapproved of as they often portrayed violence and war as a primary plot. In the end, the TMNT’s won approval as they were cute animals. If only my mother knew. That or she just allowed them as they seemed to inspire my artistic outlets again.
Inspired then by comic books and cartoon shows I began the path of expressing myself through creating similar worlds. Again this came at the approval of many and the encouragement to continue drawing them was one of my few forms of gaining attention. Emotionally I would ebb and flow through my art. Guilty feelings buried in hate and sadness, mixed in with the usual early teen years with hormones and the likes. Depression would come and go in real highs and real lows. It became a very bipolar experience, one that continues to this day, albeit more subtle and controlled.
After the age of 14, fighting depression and pouring into my art, it became my crux to foster appreciation from others. My family of course wasn’t fully aware of my depression, just stupid angst and selfishness, which was true to an extent. Until in an explosive family crisis, my Dad put me into a community health counselling sessions. Where I learned to talk about my emotions. Sure I was in enough AA meeting before then to see other peoples emotions, but that usually sent me backward to try and ignore the reality of the world my parents were coping with. My art work continued. It evolved into finer methods of creativity and become something I would be always connected to. My personal ‘cum laude’.
After all of this, building my work to a point, where in fact it was not my school marks that got me into art college, but my art itself. Ranking in the top 3 best applicants for portfolio work when applying for the college. A professor later told me they would have rejected me out right as my grade point average was mediocre at best and if it wasn’t for my portfolio and the number of recommendations I had, well college would not have happened. Needless to say, I am not the brightest stone in the lot. So breaking out of school and home I was dropped into the cold world of reality, un-sheltered by being the most artistic in my world, to becoming only one of many and without the personal drive to see myself use my talent for anything else outside of my personal selfish goals. I never really had to work for anyone else. I had only ever done art my way. If someone asked for work, it was done how I felt it needed to be done. I had a very myopic view of my creative power and an ego to go with it. I was too set on the past to realize the honesty some of my close friends at that time were trying to tell me. I shortly afterwards fell apart and dropped out of College. I had been creatively broken. Choosing then to distract myself with eating, drinking, getting married and working. All typical of anything plebeian as I would have seen it.
I never gave up the idea of doing art work as a career. I would always dabble on the side, trying hard to carry on as I had in high school. The difference was I did not have a ready audience and well my wife was not a fan. I did not have the tenacity to do as some of my other former companions forged on to do. To actually complete a project. My art, including everything shown on this site would be incomplete. I would latch onto what ever audience I could find. Online forums, gaming groups, local comic book groups anyone, but without the actual fortitude to try for an actual career. I would fantasize about doing art and some rich patron paying me to do so. False hopes if there is no effort to follow it through. Ledsoul was born of this idea online. A graphics artist that would provide digital art. But… I did not have the lifer to do any of such.

So here I am now and the crux of my website spouting on about the past and failure of a methodology. The moral point being. Teach your children to be responsible and with a strong work ethic. These farty dreams of being artists are tales told like fantasy with no direction. Work hard and anything is possible, fortune cookies give better advice. I am using my life as a sordid lesson and I know its not done yet. I am a walking mistake, so where I get things right, I hope and pray that it goes well for those it affects.

RIP Ledsoul.

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