About the Art: Companion

Update 2017/05/21: Changed post title from “Art Archive Series Part 3: Companion” to “About the Art: Companion”

Part 3 of my Art Archive Series is about a Soulprint that’s rather dear to my heart, Companion. This piece is an homage to the weighted companion cube from the game Portal (Valve, 2007).

Confession time: I still have not played Portal. I own it. It’s on my Steam account. But, I still haven’t played it. This is a recurrent problem with me. Some could say I’m a pathological game procrastinator. I have all sorts of games I haven’t played yet. Much of my gaming time is spent just plain relaxing, so I tend to stick to games I’ve already played because it doesn’t take a lot of mental processing or cause a lot of excitement. Such is the life of a person with chronic illness. :p

But even though I have never played Portal myself, I respect the game. And the cube. And I watched my Hubby play Portal a bit. Hubby loves Portal and was hugely into it when it was released. So, I drew this piece for him, the most amazing husband anyone could ask for.

I have really strong emotions. It even scares me sometimes just how strong they are. I’ve got heavy feels, man. But no matter how strongly I feel something, I find it difficult sometimes to put it into words. Maybe that’s because words just don’t ever seem to convey the depth of what I feel. Or it might be that I express myself better visually.

Well, that would be a convenient trait for an artist, wouldn’t it? {:

So, I created Companion as a kind of visual love song for my Love. But that isn’t the only reason this piece is special to me. It also signified a breakthrough for me. I had long heard that art could be a way to express yourself. But no matter how many times I heard this and how well I knew this on a basic level, I never KNEW it, know what I mean? This piece helped me to SEE it, to FEEL it, to fully understand that truth.

To draw this piece, I started off by sketching the outline of the cube, and then starting with the top left section, I filled in each section in a clockwise fashion, ending up with the area in the center. The first section (top left) I filled in with random soulprinting designs without thinking about it, but about halfway through the second section (top center) I realized there was a theme of leaves or flowers, and kept with that theme. Then I decided to do a different theme for each section, and that’s when I blew my own mind.

For the third section (top right) I picked space. Space — oh god, space, how I love it. I love the moon. I love the stars. I get a thrill out of seeing and identifying constellations and planets and galaxies and comets. I love auroras, and I keep track of space weather. My cats are named Orion and Aurora, thank you very much.

It was at that moment, when I drew the third section, that I finally understood exactly what it meant that art could be used for self-expression. I found myself putting my love for space and ALL my love for my Hubby into each millimeter that I drew. One love-filled line might look no different from a line that wasn’t drawn with love, but the experience of drawing them is completely different.

I continued on like that around the cube, with a different theme for each section:

  • 1st Section (top left) – Lace. Decided after the fact based on how it looks, but I had no actual theme for this one.
  • 2nd Section (top middle) – Flowers/leaves. Nature is one of my biggest inspirations./li>
  • 3rd Section (top right) – Space. sigh
  • 4th Section (middle right) – Rain. Some people only want sunshine, but I love a good rainstorm, particularly if it’s a warm rain or it’s thundering.
  • 5th Section (bottom right) – Cake. This is less about my love of cake and more about Portal. The cake is a lie. {:
  • 6th Section (bottom middle) – Sunshine. I never said I didn’t like sunshine. {:
  • 7th Section (bottom left) – The Sea. Another of my all-consuming long-time loves.
  • 8th Section (middle left) – Clouds. Anything to do with the sky, man.
  • And the middle section – Music. Another great passion of mine, but also tailored to the subject matter. Particularly the “Note” part. {: For those who don’t know, I’m referring to Still Alive. And just to impress you, I can’t sing, but I can do a near-perfect rendition of this on Rock Band. You’re totally impressed. {:

Ever since I drew Companion, I consciously put all of my love into what I draw. I use ink as my medium, my tool, but we could say I actually draw with love and joy. It might be why I can’t draw when I’m angry or tired. I have to be in a good brainspace to draw.

So, we could say this piece is a collection of loves for my Love. A companion (cube) for my Companion.

Yep, I cried while writing this.