I am sharing this image of a work I did a while ago, with you again, because the boy who inspired this piece is celebrating his birthday tomorrow.
Since he was little he used to see ‘monsters’. The first time we pretend to catch these monsters with black bags, and it worked for a while.
When he started to see monsters again, the black bags didn’t do the trick so we moved his bed to his brother’s room. That helped for a while.
As an artist I love the idea of monsters, but as a mother these manifestations from my child made me feel worried.
“There were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous. It was always, always, always a step ahead.” – Victoria Schwab
After that I asked him to draw the monster that he saw, and used the drawing he made as inspiration for this piece.
Who am I to tell him that monsters are not real? That it might just be a trick his imagination play on him? Or that he should stop using excuses not to go to sleep? Was his monsters real to him or just a form of manipulation.
How could I teach him that he doesn’t need to fear?
“Oh, monsters are scared,” said Lettie. “That’s why they’re monsters.” – Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
That the real monsters out there can actually be disguised as real people, or that the real world is where the monsters are..
or that even monsters can be beautiful….
“We make our own monsters, then fear them for what they show us about ourselves.” – Mike Cary from “The Unwritten , Vol 1
With all this said, I am happy/relieved and a little sad to say that he doesn’t see monsters anymore. Our boy is growing up.
“The monsters of our childhood do not fade away, neither are they ever wholly monstrous” – John le Carre