pencil, gouache

During my grandmother’s final decade, I thought back on this little episode constantly, trying and failing to write it again and again. I never brought it up with her, or my parents--it felt too personal to talk about, but nothing is too personal for art (and here I mean the word as a process--I don’t imply that this little comic is a work of art). These walks set the entire trajectory of my life--storytelling as a means of protecting myself and those I love, and a way to share something intimate in the most roundabout and convoluted way, because the thought of saying things in plain words is too unbearably real. No matter how much I hate my early books with their tortured wordplay and indecipherable narratives, I can see that the process of creation was very much the same as what I was doing as a child on those walks. And I will keep doing it as long as I can, even without an audience, on a desert island, or on the deathbed, in my head. In fact, I imagine this will be my finest work.

©2023 Roman Muradov