Rotten: Crafting the Gross


For this illustration I wanted to create something beautiful and delicate contrasted with something scratchy and obtrusive, I wanted to create an image of re-growth, but with scars still present from an horrific event.

The font was a really important aspect of this piece, I wanted to create something really jarring against the leafy nude. rotten-final-text1sketch-text2

I also wanted the text to be black as night, so the contrast is as high as it can go, so the nude doesn’t get lost amid this loud text, I decided to paint a red watercolour streak over the figure, it does look like menstrual blood, and alongside the theme of the poem I feel it’s both beautiful and grotesque. I ramped up the contrast on this too, to make the whole composition really pop.

body-with-red-paint2Finally, I played around with the layout of the text, placing it over and beneath the figure, before deciding that in the white space beneath her leg was best, the text looks almost bark like, like the foundations for this blooming nude.

body with red paint edited[3].jpg

Rotten: A Provocative Poem

This is a poem to repulse and anger, to convey the brutality and indignity of rape, but what should shock you readers, is that the scariest thing about rape is not its violence, but its commonality. Rape and sexual assault must not be a shared experience.

My record of service is scarred yet I return to the front.

45% ready for service. Mutilated at 17. Maimed at 18. Discharged at 19.

Rotting away on leave.

Once nearly raped, twice, three times a lady.

Words written by birds. Who peck and scratch at the surface but flee when they see raw bone.

Skin ripped away in the morning, blood stains by midday, wounds gouged in the night.

My flesh will die and you will lick the corpse. More fool you, to feast on flesh marked by you, Putrefying in your nostrils,

Don’t touch me, I’m Rotten.

But you didn’t listen the first time.