---About the Bears---
Images from the studio and the easel of April 2020. Thought from March 2022.
I spent a lot of my childhood feeling not very brave.Painting and drawing animals was always an escape for means most of my characters I’ve been painting since I was a kid.
In 2020, the bears showed up a lot in the studio. As I started sharing my work, friends and family would occasionally share it in their networks. A family friend sent my mom a drawing Ii did around age 5 or 6.
I scrawled : Dad is [backpacking] in the Olympics, I’m scared he’s going to get eaten by a bear.
I want to see my monsters as autonomous strong beings with force. And, as an artist, who is human as heck,
this is how I build that strength for myself - with the paintings.
[Context: ‘Waking up wild’ is a term we used to use when I worked in the hospital describing the phenomenon that occurs when patients recover from anesthesia and come back to life completely out of sorts and wildly disorganized physically and emotionally. It’s probably used to describe a lot of other things, too.]
In the past, I've used the term 'waking up wild' to describe how anxiety can manifest for me in ways I have no control over: there are days I wake up and it feels as though a bear is chasing me. Even though there is no threat and there is no bear, the danger feels very real.
Painting them and seeing them all the time in the studio makes the bad days a little less so.
On the bad days when I wake up and that bear is chasing me, it’s less scary when you’ve made a place for them to come and go.
When you already know what they look like, you don’t have to keep checking over your shoulder so much.
You can just accept that it’s there and trust that, yeah the bear chase is on the for day, but in the end, you’re going to survive.
Aliza and Her Monsters