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We Both Escaped


A very personal piece about a good friend who got me through a very tough time. To me he was the ultimate meaning to the phrase "size isn't everything". I have major depressive dirsorder, severe anxiety and social phobias, plus a lot more problems; for a full list / story go here - http://paperinvaders.tumblr.com/aboutme

This was a very hard illustration to make, I wanted to do it justice and was scared I would mess it up. I'm still not completely happy with it but I don't think I ever will be. This little guy, Neville the Syrian hamster, literally saved my life. I was going through a very tough spot with all my health issues and was considering suicide. By looking after another vulnerable soul I realised that I needed to look after myself. He used to escape from his exercise ball and I wanted to escape from my reality, hence the title, we both escaped. I remember one particularly bad day, sitting on the floor in my room, neville had escaped and knew something was wrong because I wasn't saying anything - he could almost sense it. He came up to me, put his paw on my leg and looked me right in the eyes. I don't know what he was trying to say but it's because of him that I woke up alive the next day.

Neville died 6 months ago after reaching the ripe old age of 2. He was my first hamster and certainly will not be my last. I now have Mollie who is doing a fantastic job but will never quite fill Neville's shoes.

I always feel stupid saying something so small saved me, but he really did. He was there to offer a listening ear even though he didn't really have a choice! And just to have someone non-judgemental to see me for who I was. It's hard to put into words which is why I decided to put this into a picture.

Tools used: Copic Sketch markers, Fineliner pens, Bristol board paper and about 12+ hours of planning, sketching and swatching.

This is for you lil' buddy. Thank you.

Work in progress can be found on my dropbox - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/44355603/COTM/April%20WIP%20paperinvader.jpg

can provide more pictures of WIP if needed :)

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Amazing story and artwork! Keep it up and don't quit on life! I'm glad you found a friend in time of need! You are valuable and nothing on earth can change that, because your value was given to you by God. You are "fearfully and wonderfully made" the Bible says. And He loves you! He proved it by sending His Son Jesus to become a man on earth who had to deal with all the stress and torment we go through. He took the worse the world could do to us, death, and He overcame. He died for us. But rose again!! And He offers new life to all who will come to Him. "Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28. Come to Him and find rest :-) God Bless!

You really captured the moment with this picture, I can even feel the feelings about the moment without reading the title or your comments. I don't know how to explain it but I really felt the atmosphere of the moment only by looking at the picture even without paying attention to the details like the prozac and the shaving razors.

Now that is some art that speaks volumes. The messy room, the torn clothing, abandoned accessories, dim coloration, and cracked walls. Then in the middle of it all, there's the figure (you) reaching out to his hamster (Neville) It all speaks to the time you're referring to. The attention to detail makes it clear that you took your time and paid a lot of attention to your work.

It's rare to find somebody like that, I've become a little more sensitive to those sort of issues as someone close to me shares a lot of those same problems and they have a pet that helps them get through a lot of it.

All in all, an amazing piece of art. Keep it up.

Is that an MA Music poster I see?

Very cool picture. It tells a lot by itself but I think it would better if the Neville had his paw on your foot like in the story. Great job!

Amazing art and even more amazing story R.I.Paul Neville

paperinvader responds:

Thank you so much! He'd be so please to know he's still being appreciated :)

Credits & Info

4.73 / 5.00

Apr 18, 2016
11:20 PM EDT
Fine Art
File Info
2323 x 1622 px
3.2 MB

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Licensing Terms

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

You must give credit to the artist.
You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
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