My latest creation, The Bipolar Bear is probably my best work to date and I guess that could be because I put a lot of myself into it. This little guy is not a commission, he’s not for sale, he’s just for me.
The word ‘Bipolar’ is massively misused. Just a quick search on twitter for #bipolar will turn up a whole host of people using the term as a way of describing someone who maybe feels a bit sad sometimes, who can’t make up their mind, or has the odd mood swing.
Make no bones about it, bipolarity is a serious and often life-threatening illness. An illness like many others, where through no fault of their own, sufferers have to learn to live with and manage the condition on a daily basis. It is NOT self-inflicted, it is NOT a case of ‘pulling yourself together’ and it is NOT something to be ashamed of.
The Bipolar Bear is a fabric representation of my own bipolarity. I didn’t want it to be a case of just happy and sad. For me, at my down times I feel worn, broken, faded and thoroughly exhausted. Bilbo Baggins said it best when he said that he felt like butter spread over too much bread. The down side of my bear has been inked, torn and patched back up to try and evoke that feeling of being totally worn-out in every way that a person (or bear) can feel.
I’m lucky that my manic times are not too severe, I generally feel happy, confident, ambitious and capable. Everything is rosy and nothing will bring me down. I found that harder to convey on the bear’s happy face but I am pleased with the result.
A massive thank you goes to Mr Monster, not only for photographing and animating my bear, but also for all the support he gives me every single day.