This is a piece I sketched months ago intending to make into a physical painting, but never did. So now that I’ve thoroughly fallen in love with Procreate and digital painting, I decided to go ahead and create it digitally.
The inspiration for this piece came from a dream. I can no longer remember the details, but I remember wanting to create an image showing the desperation of a brain with depression. While researching images of brains to reference in my painting, a trick of light made the folds in an image of a brain look like human figures to me. So I decided that would be the perfect concept and started my sketch.
The claustrophobic sense the figures gave off became apparent while working on my sketch, and it made me think of how the hippocampus of a depressed brain can atrophy, which is why depression is sometimes tied to poor memory. The amygdala, which works in processing emotions, is overstimulated in people with depression and other mood disorders. And so, I ended with this image of an overly stressed mind desperate for room to breathe pushing and shoving and working against itself as it crushes the hippocampus into nothing.
The text in the cerebellum says, “…thus it continues to fight these crushing currents in hopes of stopping the continued atrophy of the hippocampus. It swells and overreacts in response to excess cortisol, but works against the whole machine by interrupting sleep. And so memory is further compromised…as it were, this is what depression breeds. A desperate brain alone in space and time.”