He once said “My music will tell you more about me than I ever will”. Although I grew up listening to his music, it was only until later in life that I truly took the time to really delve into his work. Prince Rogers Nelson was not only a genius musician who could create timeless musical masterpieces but he was also an enlightened being who wasn’t afraid to express himself in manner which defied society’s norm. It was for this very reason that I struggled to understand him externally as I had been heavily conditioned to see the world through a limited lens.
When I became more ‘awakened’ during my late 20s, naturally I began to attract things that were in alignment with me and the philosophy of life I had developed. Prince was someone I grew deeply fond of. A lot of his earlier and present works began connecting so effortlessly that I started researching more into him on an innate level.
In one of the lines in his song “I Would Die For You”, Prince mentions that he was neither a woman or a man and that he was something we could never understand. The words resonated with me more than ever before as that was around the time I began to bask on a spiritually path. I understood and related his words to the inner being I feel we all have. An intangible inner being which doesn’t have a gender nor a physical image one could interrupt.
Prince stood up for ownership and originality. In 1993 he wrote “slave” across his face and changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. He did this to emancipate himself from his contract with a record company as he felt his own name belonged to the company.
In the end Prince had to make new recordings to which he had ownership of his masters. As a result, Prince was the first major artist to distribute an album exclusively on the internet. I feel greatly honoured to have been able to draw a being who had inspired me to remain creative and persevere through life’s challenges.
I connected so deeply on a spiritually level drawing Prince that I ended up doing something rather special. Something I wasn’t aware I was capable of. With thousands of reference images and video footages studied for hundreds of hours over the past year, I felt it was enough to attempt to open up the eyes of Prince without any photographic reference at hand whilst drawing. There was an
intangible presence I felt surrounding me, almost as if the spirit of Prince was right there with me – guiding me along the way.
Originally my intentions were to strongly reference the beautiful photograph that the late legendary photographer Herb Ritts took of Prince with his eyes closed. I was planning on having an exhibition this year where I would have included a drawing of Prince with his eyes closed to accompany a few drawings from my previous series of portraits called “Interludes”.
I started drawing Prince around this time last year but for some reason I struggled and procrastinated for several months. Fortunately I managed to resume the drawing in February this year but only to discover that the world as we knew it was going through some kind of pandemic.
I managed to get through drawing most of Prince’s hair but faced another creative block which hindered me drawing for a couple of weeks. After a very vivid dream I had about Prince I felt compelled to open up Prince’s eyes.
As a subconscious response to the current events most of us are facing on earth, I felt inspired to open up Prince’s eyes to highlight a state of alert presence. To be in the now and to be fully aware of our surroundings.
With over 300 hours of pencil to paper and countless hours of the initial study and research. This portrait has brought a tremendous degree of fulfilment and I deeply feel it has now transformed my ability as an artist to a whole new level.