Behind: Life After Sunflowers
The past 3 years I’ve been this broken record. What spewed out of my mouth was typically sentences about not being over my ex, the drawings of Flowe that I couldn’t stop producing post-break-up, and the Spiff gear I was trying to bring to life. It’s kinda annoying, but I always felt that if anyone were to try and understand this new drop aka Life After Sunflowers Vol. 1, they would have to understand those three things. It’s only right I explain all this one more time.
Life after sunflowers.
I dated this girl for almost 5 years. Kinda sorta fell in love with her in a “Babe, we’re gonna get married.” type of way. She was all teenage Eric could ask for; it felt impossible to see a future where being with her wasn’t part of the path my life followed. There were a ton of things to love about her but the one thing I never got over were her eyes; they looked like sunflowers that you could stare at all day. You’ll get that later.
The worst thing about falling in love is falling out of it. We used to be naive high schoolers who thought we’d get through anything. A couple years later, we’re insecure college students in a long distance relationship that was mentally ruining us. Things clearly weren’t the same, and I was struggling to accept it. My insecurities started acting up because instead of working on myself, I devoted my life to the idea that I had to be with this girl until the day I died. Pro Tip: Don’t do that. The actions I thought were benefiting our relationship were actually causing me to become toxic for her to be around. Luckily, she was smart enough to know she deserved better.
The worst thing about getting dumped is figuring out what to do with all the time you were used to dedicating to your significant other. Each second suddenly feels like hours of nothingness; that’s not really my cup of tea. After a solid week of crying, I literally had no idea what to do with myself. I turned to drugs for a bit, but knew I needed to transfer all this shit in my head and my ever so sensitive heart (lmao) into something of substance. Just had no idea what that would result in.
You know those moments in movies where the protagonist gets dumped, so they gather all the stuff their ex gave them and burn it in an overly dramatic manner? I figured that’d be smart to do. So I grabbed the box filled with gifts and notes and all that cheesy shit, filled it with more cheesy shit lying around my room, and got ready to hit Ocean Beach with my roomies (aka the Spiff Team) to have the saddest bonfire of my life.
But before we could all go, I stumbled upon this journal my now ex-girlfriend gifted me for our 4-year anniversary. I never used it, but when I opened it I saw a letter left for me written on the first page. She went into detail about buying me this journal with blank pages instead of lined ones because she thought I was “better off with something that doesn’t hold [me] back.” She promised that one day I’d “look through this [journal] and remember everything [I] experienced.”
This wasn’t my first time reading this letter; that’s what ticked me off. I remember asking myself why I didn’t take her words seriously before. Why couldn’t I see the creative individual she claimed I was? Why did I wait so long to work to be the artist I wanted to be as a kid? Why the fuck was I reading a letter from the girl who just broke my damn heart? (LOL)
I sat there for a minute, cruised over to the living room, and asked Vinesh if I could borrow the box of art supplies his sister lent him. I took a deep breath as I took out this container of mismatched colored pencils and crayons and ended up drawing what looked like really crappy hentai (I couldn’t draw hands, so I drew tentacles). But that's beside the point. I drew something, and for the first time in what must’ve been weeks, I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing with my life.
When you get that sense of self back after being dumped, you can learn to channel all that negative energy clouding your thoughts into art that represents how you feel. Poems, doodles, essays, paintings, and more are born from the simple act of letting your emotions, positive or negative, take over and allowing yourself to bring to life what’s in your head instead of overthinking. Through this process, the contents of my journal were created, which then led to the concept of Life After Sunflowers.
Life After Sunflowers is the name I decided to give my life after getting my heart broken by the girl whose eyes looked like sunflowers. Flowe is the name I decided to give the character that was born through this heartbreak. Make sense?
So yes. This whole collection started because I got dumped and didn’t have a clue how to act. But as things naturally do when they are given genuine effort and attention, L.A.S. has become something more than that. I made Flowe to convey the emotions I felt during my lowest point in life; all I wanted was to tell her story through the medium I enjoy using best--streetwear. Now that I’ve had a chance to introduce her to y’all, it feels like the right time to make this anime-inspired branch of Spiff P. into the vessel that will contain the collaborations I work on with my friends. The idea is that I work with other artists to tell stories of their original characters that will exist in the same world as Flowe.
I’m not sure how to feel about a huge part of my life being defined by a breakup. Maybe it makes me a loser that can’t let go of my own baggage. Maybe it makes me dope af for turning my low point into a new high. Maybe it doesn’t matter at all. What I do know is that this is what it is. And I’m okay with that.