As 2020 is coming to a close, this unforgettable year has taught us a lot. With the entire world in lockdown having our daily life routines disrupted, we were all forced to get to know ourselves a little better. One artist Vivenne Boucherat, a visual artist and musician from London has recently created a collection of her drawings in a book called “Know your crazy.”
So how much do you know about your crazy? Since her 20’s Vivienne has been making these drawings as a way to externalize what is going on inside her head. By unleashing her inner madwoman to the outside world, she feels she creates some distance between her craziness and is able to look at her crazy and laugh at it all.
“When things are in your head they are hard to see and focus on. These drawings allowed me to look at the thoughts that circle around in my head and I would wind up laughing at myself or find that I needed to work on some issues. As we embrace and get to know our crazy it makes us a more fully rounded human being. We are all here learning lessons and facing challenges and we have to accept we have both light and dark. I think it is really important and helpful. This book is quite light hearted but I hope it resonates on a deeper level with people. They say, without shadow you can't have light. That our shadows actually draw out our light.”
The 60 images in the Know Your Crazy book help us reflect on all the moments in our lives whether they be challenging, joyful, tragic or a little crazy. What is really going on in your mind and what's going on outside in your world can be two totally different things. For example in Vivienne’s drawing, “Multi-tasking daydreams'', she said she was babysitting her grandchildren, and getting ready to be traveling on a world tour with her husband who performs with the legendary rock band, The Zombies. She of course was thinking about what she was doing with her grandchildren but her mind would also space out in a daydream and fill her mind with trivial unimportant details and they would just get stuck and circle around in her head. I am sure we can all relate to that.
Similarly, “Game-face” is easily relatable to people. Rather than being or feeling or letting us show exactly what's going on inside ourselves, we tend to adapt to suit the situation. We all have put on a “Game-face” to put people at ease or make it easier for other people to be around us. When we are in people pleaser mode, we coverup what's going on inside. So if you are having a miserable day, you don’t tell anyone because you don't want to bring anyone else down with you. So you do things like put on a game face.
“The nostalgia” is one of my favorites because there is a lovely sort of way we can look back on things and on the one hand it can make you feel good and on the other hand it can drag us back to unhappy or sad moments. I looked up the definition of nostalgia. It was a psychotic disorder, and we can let ourselves get bogged down with overthinking the things that were, and things we’ve done. But for me once they’re out in a drawing, I can reassess the situation and it's forgotten until another drawing comes out of me tomorrow.”
The drawings were not intentionally made to be a book, but with the collaboration of Cindy DaSilva, a New Jersey based artist manager and Rene Harbison, the head of a Texas based production and consulting firm, the three collaborated on bringing the book to life.
“It's my intention to have people not feel bad about any crazy corners of their life. I thought the book would appeal to a woman of a certain age like those in their 40-50’s who have had many experiences and can recognize patterns in their craziness. But even women in their early 20’s could relate and have a good laugh about it. I heard the best compliment that one woman said the book and drawings made her feel like she is not alone and that is what makes me really proud if this book helps people feel that they are not alone in their craziness. That they touch on universal themes.”
By crazy Vivienne never meant the word crazy to be derogatory but a recognition and acceptance of all the bits in ourselves. The 5” x 7” bound book is produced on museum quality archival paper and is overflowing with beautifully complex content.