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“Portrait of an Atypical Mind” exposes a mind that is deeply in touch with their full and vibrant character, one that they have to hide from the world. Their hair is taking an intimate grasp around their body as representation of the warmth and passion they hold within themselves. Exuding from their body and bleeding into the canvas—filling it up—is an interesting and evidently personal atmosphere.
“Nocturnal (DSPD I)” presents the life of someone with DSPD—delayed sleep phase disorder, otherwise known as being a night owl. It challenges the norm of daytime living and argues that nighttime living is as valid a way to live as it has the potential to be as vibrant and active. It shows that life doesn’t stop when people go to sleep at night, supported by some classic nocturnal animals known for their active night lives.
“Solitude (DSPD II)” displays the other side of DSPD (delayed sleep phase disorder). Though “Nocturnal (DSPD I) suggested that the solitude of night can be a welcomed thing, this piece acknowledges that we do need connection in our lives and a consistent night-life strips that; the once welcomed solitude becomes overwhelming. This is particularly a challenge in a society that stigmatizes night wakefulness (deeming those who partake as degenerates) and normalizes a very particular daytime schedule i.e. the 9-5 work day.
“Inattentive Type” exposes the inattentive ADHDer who spends a great deal of their life daydreaming while merely watching the world around them go by.
“Otaku” presents the life of an anime-nerd, or someone who has revolved their life around this lively genre of fiction. It shows that a life absorbed in fiction and other media, even though taking place in the physical bounds of one’s room, can offer a whole fulfilling world, contrary to the belief that otaku—or nerds in general— are missing out on life by basing their lives around consuming fictional content.
“Hikikomori” peeps into the comfortable life of a social recluse—someone who is willingly shut in their home and shut out of in-person social society. The image fuses them with their homey surroundings to emphasis that their space is very lived in and personal. It attempts to challenge the notion that society should be getting involved in these peoples’ lives if how they’re living isn’t bothering them or anyone else. We, as the viewer, are invading their privacy by witnessing them in a very private moment.
“Music Mind” is about the role of music to atypical minds. Music fuels the mind that is bored of the static world, inspiring it to create and indulge in its own world. For night owls, music can symbolize the artificial energy needed during dark, to substitute the sun. For neurodivergents, it is a natural stimulant boosting and balancing dopamine.
Though the overwhelming theme of my thesis is to challenge stigma around atypical lifestyles, “Baby Meth” turns that around and instead suggests that there should be stigma around the normalized routine of prescribing some ADHD stimulants, which are controlled substances in Canada, to children in an attempt to have them conform to neurotypical expectations. The image simply places a bottle of Adderall in a setting obviously belonging to a child, prompting viewers to seek out what could be wrong with this combination of items.