Faded Dream

Underwing Moth

Inspiration Tuesday December 2019

Faded Dream

What Inspired the piece 

This is actually something I’ve struggled to share in the past. It’s a tad complicated and very personal to me. 

I hope you are ready. It’s time to dive a little deeper than normal. 

When I was young, I recall dreaming about being a great artist. I had no idea who some of the greats were, except that the ninja turtles were named after great artists and I wanted a cartoon character named after me. At the time I wasn’t really old enough to understand what a career was or how society worked outside of a grade 1 classroom. 

This piece kind of represents that journey, from chasing that childhood dream to now. I’m still chasing that dream. I’ll get there eventually. This persistent little voice in the back of my mind is always pushing me towards developing my career, and I’m determined to get there.

Despite all the time that’s past one thing that continues to remain consistent is my dream to be a successful artist.

I bounced around different jobs and career paths for almost a decade. I loved picture framing, and the idea of managing my own gallery but that’s a different goal altogether. I would paint and explore ideas in my free time, and on weekends. 

The moth itself represents that childhood dream, and how it has persevered over time. Holding its shape, and significance in my life. Always fluttering around the back of my mind. 

The piece itself represents my mental state and wellbeing throughout my journey towards a career in the arts to this point. It remains just as relevant today as it did when I deemed the piece completed three years ago.

The fractures or cracks in the moths wings represent the damage unsupportive or resentful relationships throughout my life has caused on my confidence and self worth. 

When I started this piece I was living with my best friend, making my way through university for the second time. Determined to live my life the way I wanted. I ignored and continue to ignore a lot of pressure from family asking why I’d want to pursue something so unreliable, I should study something else, return to a trade, or aspire to be some corporate CEO. That life isn’t for me, I’ve tried. 

Part of me is driven to prove them wrong, but it’s not the reason I continue to chase my passion. 

The dust and semi intact pieces of the moths wings represent how the dream has had to change, as it has adapted to reality. 

If things were like a grade 1 classroom and I could survive off of praise I’d be set for life. Unfortunately that isn’t Reality. Sometimes I dislike the projects I am hired to work on, and I deal with the occasionally difficult client. Not to mention the underlying stress I won’t have enough income to feed myself or pay the internet bill. Thats part of the struggle. I live for those moments when I do land a great gig and I do pay those bills. It’s the most rewarding part of being a full time artist. It also reminds you to be humble. 

So to wrap it up. This piece represents a childhood dream, how my life has changed and warped that dream, and how it continues to stay the same. 

Faded Dream, unframed

What Species of moth did you depict 

The focus of this piece is the White Underwing Moth or the Catocala Relicta.  It’s one of my favourite species because of its t’s large striking wings. I have the plans for a tattoo of this species on my right forearm. Just need to find the right artist.

The perfect camouflage when it sits on Paper Birch. Which is also its favourite source of food. 

They’re commonly found between July and September. in the central parts of North America. Traveling as far north as Newfoundland and as far south as Arizona.

You can find them in the Edmonton area, I’ve seen them at Elk Island national park, and the Devonian botanical gardens. 

Faded Dream Prints

In recent news. I had prints made in two sizes. 12×12 and 8×8. for more information follow the link below.

Interested in the original?

Stay Creative,

Justin Erickson

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