what does Body want?

The exercise of drawing odd bodies, as shown in the previous blog post, made me want to further explore how to express and distort the body through illustration. This topic reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently, in which she said she sometimes asks herself "what does Body want?" when trying to figure out why she feels ill or uncomfortable.

As somebody with IBS, this is a question I ask myself frequently since the trigger for IBS symptoms can be due to food, environment, psychology, or who knows what else. Sometimes it feels like my body is a snobby foreign entity who I try to please but everything I do seems futile.

When trying to illustrate this concept of separation of the mind and body, I had a lot of ideas and went down many different paths. I don't have a final piece yet, but I hope you enjoy looking looking through the various concepts I created.

Initial sketches

My goal while sketching was to draw a body "bending over backward" to appease itself. I also wanted to show external solutions and triggers to bodily stress, such as an assortment of medicine and a phone with webMD pulled up. Once in the illustration phase, however, I felt that there were too many ideas on the page. I decided to just stick to drawing the body.

My initial plan was to leave the body genderless, but after a discussion about how women are often treated differently by medical professionals, I decided to make the person a woman to reflect another layer of misunderstanding of the body.

I then attempted another set of illustrations that focused more on the connection between the body and the mind - how we're only aware of the body when it's engaged in activity or hurting.

I think the reason while I don't feel satisfied with any of the drawings yet is that none of them fully express everything I had wanted to show. I could definitely see myself returning to this topic soon, maybe with a series of illustrations or an animation.