Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pictures and Words

They say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." But occasionally those thousand words are just a jumble of words huddled together in a manner that makes no sense whatsoever. In response to my previous post—Innergy—I received two messages from my friends asking me to clarify what my drawing was all about; looked like my “thousand words” were not making sense to others. So let me give a brief verbal description of what I was trying to convey through my picture.

To explain Innergy, I will have to talk about Dis-ease as well, because in my mind they are two sides of the same coin. Dis-ease focused on our obsession with success that turns us into workaholics. We are not at ease if we are not working. We lose our sleep over not working hard enough, or over not progressing as quickly as we would like to towards our goals. The result of this unease—or dis-ease, as I call it—is a disease and results in illness. I believe a lot of our physical ailments have their origin in our minds. So we can continue to stay obsessed with success at our own peril.

Innergy, on the other hand, is about the energy that we get from love. Love is full of life—it is lively, spirited, and vivacious; in sum, it makes us energetic. Unlike the guy in Dis-ease who was working to succeed, the woman in Innergy is reading something that she loves. I wasn’t sure how to depict her inner motivation but I was hoping that the background of the picture will convey the abundance of her love. So, while the individuals in Dis-ease and Innergy are both working late night—the time showing on both their clocks is the same—only the former is anxious, edgy, and tense. With depleted inner energy, he has to rely on caffeine and nicotine to keep going. However, the person in Innergy gets all her energy from love—so even plain water keeps her going. I tried to depict the love in her spirit through the picture of her baby on the table; her baby too is quietly tucked in the bed and is within her vicinity, so that she can keep an eye and promptly respond to the baby’s needs. The lighting out of the table lamp illustrates a sense of calmness in the environment, unlike the bright lights in Dis-ease.

Paradoxically, when a picture needs so many words to be explained, it might just be a picture that isn’t worth a single word. But that’s OK with me, because I love the work involved in the expressing an idea visually. If the visual is not obvious to the reader, I will gladly provide further explanation for those interested. I am here just to express a few thoughts; I will try my best to communicate those thoughts to those who are keen to listen. Sometimes, the thoughts may get lost in one medium because of my undeveloped expressive skills in that medium, but I will try to augment it through another medium, in which I may be no better. I hope pictures and words together should get the message across.

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