The theme of Seven Deadly Sins has been used time and time again, but I welcomed this opportunity for us to challenge ourselves to stray from the path of the usual, and to produce something with a socially relevant message. Sin selection:
I chose the sin of Sloth because it's one I often observe from the people around me. Laziness and indifference.
I myself am even guilty of it sometimes. There are days I feel like I'm not doing enough. For one thing, I should be able to create more artwork.
Just making this entry is another step forward in my attempts to fight off indolence. Art is the weapon. I hope that people who see this will also be encouraged to think twice before saying "I'm too lazy". The artwork:
Although this is a photomanipulation, I wanted to give the composition a visual treatment which is similar to my illustrations. I also kept the graphics relatively simple but striking, considering that it should be a style that would look suitable for a billboard.
The images are all up for interpretation of course, but I'll talk a bit about my thought process anyway.
I wanted to incorporate imagery inspired by Dante's Inferno
as well as my interpretation of Sloth in our modern day lives.
In the Fifth Circle of Hell described in Inferno
, the slothful are punished underneath the Stygian lake, gurgling and singing sorrowful songs beneath the surface.
This too for certain know, that underneath
The water dwells a multitude, whose sighs
Into these bubbles make the surface heave,
As thine eye tells thee wheresoe'er it turn."
Fix'd in the slime they say: "Sad once were we
In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun,
Carrying a foul and lazy mist within:
Now in these murky settlings are we sad."
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats.
But word distinct can utter none.
This part of Dante's Inferno
paints a disturbing picture of the slothful souls who are doomed to regret that they took their lives for granted. When they were alive in a world with sunshine and fresh air, they rejected the chance to warm their skin, breathe deeply, and get out there and celebrate and participate in life. Instead, they made the decision to be miserable and lazy. For that they were sentenced to an eternity of sadness suffocating in a dark and gloomy lake.
The title text I designed for the word SLOTH represents what scares me about it. It's a degenerative sin like a poison
easing you into a state of living death where you feel nothing, seek to know nothing, care for nothing.
The supporting text "Sometimes the worst course of action is to do nothing" is just something I thought of while making this piece.
I included other bits of text around the image, phrases that we might catch ourselves thinking sometimes. Just to give some examples:
Hey, you could have aced that test if you just studied. "I don't care."
Are you making an effort to have good relations with your family? "I don't know. Does it matter?"
Why aren't you doing anything about issues in your community? "I'm not affected, it's not my problem."
Are you pursuing a life that truly makes you happy? "Why try? The world is only going to waste. I don't see anyone else doing it anyway."
To think of a world where everybody thinks this way honestly terrifies me.
I replaced the heads of the adult figures with a computer monitor and television screen to depict how I feel Sloth affects us specifically in our day and age. We're so addicted to our conveniences.
It's gotten to a point where new developments are slowly diminishing the need for physical activity. Information and entertainment are fed to us through television screens. We can accomplish so many things sitting in front of a computer monitor. Technology and efficiency is great but like everything else, it has to be in moderation. Relying too much on these things strips us of our humanity, and hinders us from fully experiencing life. Thoughts while working on this:
My goal for this work was to go past the usual images associated with Sloth, which usually graze the surface of the aspect of laziness as an unhealthy liking for comfort. I wanted to focus on how I feel that it's a terrible shame and a waste of precious time when people don't do everything they can to utilize their talents to contribute something to the world out of sheer indifference. I've learned that anything — whether it's that an artwork, a song, some words of wisdom or compassion, anything
— has the ability to change people's lives, even if it's for one individual at a time. I don't know where I would be if the creators of the artworks and songs and novels and films that affected me had never bothered to make use of their gifts and share their work to inspire, to get a message out, to make a difference.
A worthwhile way to spend a lifetime is to do what you can to make the world a better place because you've lived in it. Resources:
All fonts included are free for commercial use (Bebas Neue, Sertig, Steelfish)
Stock images from #StockProject
1. Skull in "SLOTH": [link]
2. Hands: [link]
3. and [link]
6. Children: [link]
7. Woman: [link]
8. Man: [link]
9. Background: [link]
10. Wallpaper on Monitor Mom:[link]
Everything else was drawn by me in Photoshop.
I apologize for the walls of text! I write these things down partly so I can look back and keep track of what I was thinking as I work on a piece. This was very educational and enjoyable for me.
Thank you for looking! Update:
Oh wow, I won!! I'm very grateful for all your support and appreciation! Thank you so much!