OUTSIDE YOU: further musings on the term 'Outsider Art'

2007. I've been painting six months or so, I hate everything I create but I can't stop and I simply finish a painting then immediately paint over it with another. I have boards in my house with six or seven heavy layers upon them; each a mythical tortured beast atop a screaming slime skull atop a sad and broken birdie. As indelible lines become known through the gallons of paint a strange feeling strikes me: if I draw this line exactly where I want it to go, will there be a little sign at the precise point the line should end? a blemish or crusty piece of paint or scratch mimicking the arcs trajectory? When this occurred I'd know I was a) on the correct cosmic track and b) the basis for the final painting would be revealed to me (this remains true to me to this day, I never doubt that at the right point, with the right mindset, I'll get the old universal nod.)


Everything at this point carried a sickness generally. Early use of remnant crust, I'll type about that sometime.

I find myself immersed in this art, without even thinking of it as art. I had no idea of what was going on creativity wise in my city, I had no interest regardless. Beautifully lost in my little world. As I read about other Outsider artists's practices, backstory and battles I felt a real kinship growing: my people! Due to my largely solitary existence during this period, my crippling mental health and rampant substance misuse I inadvertently opened a portal directly connecting my wobbly reality with my creaking soul. My boards were coming to life; tales of drug witches, awful knife wounds, moldering tombs, a sadness to drown you over and over. I knew this was honest and real and maybe this was what other folk felt when they painted - a connection with themselves otherwise lost. My favourite website at the time was called OutsiderArt.Info , now The format has changed but a brief look confirms it's still fucking great. It was a haven for the unashamedly weird, strange, majestic art of Outsiders from all over, past and present; I read that site front to back daily, a keystone for my artistic journey. I discovered Mikey Welsh, Glenn Brady, Steve Judges, Kelly Moore and a host of others work I loved and admired. I'll type about all these artists as my blog sprawls on. Am I legit? Was I ready to show other folk my art? I sought a validation back then, I wanted a tribe, sanctuary. I emailed site owner John Yimin, asking if he'd include me, along with the meager selection of art I'd amassed to date. I recall his response being roughly "I didn't even need to think about this one, I want you on the site". A turning point in my life, I felt accepted into the folds of something so vast and humbling it almost hurt. This led to some great things which I'll expand on at a later time. For now, thank you John. I shall go consume your new site after this post, with a steaming hot coffee like the old days, and I shall message you again after all these years, my faraway friend.


Told you everything was sick back then. Hell made from old socks, crust prevalent, tinfoil, biro.

It appears I am now an Outsider Artist. I am unshackled, unleashed, rampant. Some interest arises in my art. Then I am further derailed by my demons, the painting becomes darker as I picture my glorious demise. A precipice beckons. Then a serious of events provide a lifeline to carry me to this very day. Another post for sure, I hope you are enjoying this by the way. Let me know if there is anything you'd like to read about, I am a vast trove of absolutely crazy stories!

Thank you for the support x


"one day we will all be skeletons together"

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