What you see above is the original version of my artwork concept “Make It Stop” from 2009. 2009 was a strange and crazy year for me as I went from the depths of depression to the heights of mania several times all in the same year. My art was a stark reflection of that and this is one of the pieces that reflected my state of mind the most. The idea was that I was surrounded by so many voices (racing thoughts) that it was all just static in the end and it was beyond frustrating.
Read on to see exactly how this artwork has evolved over the years as I tried to perfect it. To see the most recent and/or final redux of this artwork, see here: Please Make It Stop
Here is what I wrote about the original “Make It Stop” back on August 25, 2009:
I feel so many voices talking, yelling, getting angry, and laughing at me both from within and without. It’s all just static.
At left you can see my first try at this concept and at right the first redux from 2011. For the redux I went from just a background of gray static to static and red “veins” which are meant to symbolize brain synapses and cells since the voices were mostly internal at that point. I also went got a goth look for the central character because I was on a goth character kick in 2011 for some reason. Unlike the original where she is screaming in frustration, in the 2011 version, she is terrified. I tried to create a “depth of field” effect with the various mouths but didn’t do too well as you can plainly see.
The 2011 was about as good as I could do at the time but it wasn’t very good. I would of course attempt it again to do better later. I created a slightly better version in 2012 but I can’t seem to find a copy of that version. Instead we will skip ahead to the redux from 2015.
Here you can see a comparison of the 2011 redux (at left) and the 2015 redux (at right). Although I kept the concept the same, I created everything anew for the 2015 redux including rendering brand new mouths, a new light setup, a new more desperate pose, and a background that’s more of a combination of the original static and the 2011 brain veins. I still kept the theme of a goth style character though with red/black hair and outfit. The pose and expression is kind of a combination of the 2011 and original frustration and fear with some added desperation. The pose even says “make it stop” this time much like the original and unlike the 2011 version.
The 2015 version held up for quite a while and it was about as good as I could do with this concept. Or so I had thought! I finally came up with a way to improve upon this concept for a new and perhaps final concept in 2019.
The 2015 redux is now at left and the final redux from 2019 is on the right. The base scene for the 2019 version is actually very similar to the 2015 version. About all I changed was the outfit and hair of the central figure and exaggerated her expression more to make her look increasingly horrified as if her mind is shattering… which it is supposed to be. She is still surrounded by the talking/yelling/screaming/laughing mouths as before and the static and the brain veins. What really sets the final version apart from the previous versions is the way it was postworked to look like shattered glass. This time she’s not asking or begging for the voices to stop. She’s screaming for the voices to PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!
A tormented woman is surrounded by voices of all volumes and motives. Her mind is breaking. She can’t take it anymore!
I do believe I can confidently call this the final redux of this artwork as I can’t see how I could improve this concept any further. If I had had my 2019 skills back in 2009, the 2019 version is what I would have originally have created. It truly fits my original concept and frame of mind perfectly or perhaps even more perfectly than the original artwork.