These are works I did using homemade graffiti markers filled with acrylics in 2018. I don't remember exactly why I was using them, but it was something to do with having seen an Instagram post of another artist using one. I hadn't even been aware these markers existed. I knew about POSCA pens, I used those for my first works back in 2013, but I never knew about the kind of marker you can squeeze to control the flow. So, when I saw the video on Insta, I instantly fell in love. I do remember, actually: a friend recommended making it myself. The one's I made used empty plastic paint tubes. I thinned down some acrylic paint with water, put it in my 'marker', put a piece of sponge in the opening and was ready to go: in theory at least. I hadn't mixed the paint well and so I had to get aggressive with it to get it to work. That also involved squeezing the markers so hard the liquid pushed the sponge out and went everywhere a few times. After making the works you see below I decided the homemade ones were more hassle than they're worth and started buying them instead. They only cost a couple of quid each anyway.
The first photo is of a sketch I did on paper, while looking in the mirror, then the second photo is what I did on canvas from the sketch. The canvas reminded me of an old work I did back in 2013 (fifth one down) which got me thinking about the mental state I was expressing at the time. I also got me thinking about another friend, who I've known since we were kids. He was currently having his own mental health issues. That spurred me on to make the painting in the third photo below, which is based on a childhood photo of us. The idea was to show him some love and solidarity. The idea was also to give the painting to him, which I held off on doing because I worried about having made such a dark piece for him when he was in a dark place himself.