Editor’s Note: This article mentions suicide and other related issues.
In the vibrant world of college campuses, you can find a multitude of talents and passions hidden within the student body. Joseph Worosila, a sophomore anthropology major, stands out as a student artist and musician whose creative journey has been a captivating blend of introspection and artistic expression.
Joseph’s artistic odyssey began with music, a path he embarked upon at a young age. He delved into the world of music, experimenting with various genres, particularly noise and experimental. Over the years, his confidence grew, leading him to explore more traditional musical styles, including indie folk and slow-core. His musical goal? To craft an auditory experience that resonates with listeners on a profound level.
His inspiration for diving into the realm of music came from a close friend, a seasoned musician whose creative process left a deep impression. Witnessing the power of music as a medium for self-expression, Joseph was drawn to its allure. However, music wasn’t his initial artistic pursuit.
During his formative years, Joseph’s interests leaned heavily toward science and understanding the intricacies of the world. It wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that he discovered a new passion: art.
“I found high school to be kind of boring. So instead of paying attention, I was just drawing in my notebooks and I noticed I would kind of just start out by drawing eyes or just faces and it was kind of just very simple drawings at first because there’s not a lot of time in class individually,” said Worosila. “You get asked questions and you have to stop for. Sometimes you just have to get out right asked [by teachers] just to stop drawing. But eventually I just kind of fell into this avenue of creating monsters, like ghosts, spirits, and demons in my notebook.”
The evolution of Worosila’s art took an intriguing turn when he began creating monsters, ghosts, spirits, and demons in his notebooks. These grotesque yet fascinating creations were inspired by his life experiences and childhood influences. Watching 70s Godzilla movies with his father planted the seeds for towering monsters and contorted faces that would find a place in his art.
One of Worosila’s most significant art pieces is a self-portrait. It’s a poignant reflection of his inner struggles and emotions. The accompanying poetry in the piece serves as a cryptic representation of his experiences, from emotional dysregulation to trauma and grief. It’s a testament to the power of art in processing and expressing complex emotions.
Joseph’s preferred artistic tools are pens and markers, though he occasionally incorporates pencil sketches. What’s unique is his creative process – he doesn’t plan most of his art. Instead, he immerses himself in music, listening to a single song on repeat until it transports him into a trance-like state as he describes it. In this state of flow, he allows the music and his emotions to guide his hand.
“When I listen to the music, sometimes lyrics stick out in the song over and over again, and those lyrics I will add to the piece, and then afterward when the piece is finished, I look back and try to kind ask why I put it in there,” said Worosila. “You know, sometimes they have revelatory concepts behind them. I use musical lyrics and poetry and I just put them all into the kind the heads of the monsters I like.”
Joseph’s art is not merely a visual spectacle; it’s a reflection of his inner battles. He admits to struggling with insecurity and trauma from a young age. His demons and monsters are symbolic representations of the emotions he has yet to fully process. They embody the volatile, scarier, and alien aspects of his psyche.
“I struggle with a lot of insecurity and a lot of trauma in my life. I’ve experienced death from a very young age and negative experiences and that’s led to a negative impression of myself and my self-esteem because children react in very unpredictable ways to trauma. So a lot of these demons and monsters represent parts of my subconscious emotions,” said Worosila. “I haven’t processed a lot of emotions. I refuse to process them because they’re just too volatile or scarier, or they’re so alien to me that they become demonic in a way. But I feel like a major part of my art is also kind of the forgiveness of demons as well.”
While Joseph acknowledges the importance of political and social issues, he primarily focuses on using his art as a medium for personal expression. His creations delve into themes like masculinity and insecurity, drawing from his own experiences and emotions. Through his art, he confronts these issues and seeks catharsis.
As a college student, Joseph envisions a future that revolves around his artistic endeavors. While he plans to pursue music more aggressively, his heart lies in his visual art. For him, art is not just a hobby; it’s a fundamental part of his identity, a channel for his creative energy and emotional release.
Joseph’s journey offers valuable lessons for fellow artists and musicians. He advises aspiring creators to remain true to themselves, resisting external pressures to conform to others’ expectations. Authenticity, he believes is the key to creating art and music that bears the indelible mark of the artist’s soul.
“I have made a lot of my art when I was in a very bad spot specifically. In my “Self-Portrait” piece I write ‘freedom is right around the barrel.’ That was made as a reference to suicide which is a phrase that you see referenced in my art sometimes when I’m really feeling depressed or in the midst of the suicidal ideation episode,” said Worosila, “You know, it’s just imagery that comes into my mind that’s just a form of freedom. Which is very pessimistic, but once you make art, you kind of process those emotions to kind of get out of that space.”
In Worosila’s artistic odyssey, we witness the transformative power of creativity. From the doodles in high school notebooks to the demons and monsters on canvas, his art serves as a mirror reflecting the complex tapestry of human emotions and experiences. As he continues to navigate his creative path, one can’t help but anticipate the profound impact his art and music will have on others.
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