Originally published as an update to TWFK Kickstarter on April 8, 2018.
Desiree' Pittman is my wife, best friend, studio mate, and accomplice in the ultimate crime that is human existence. These are not the reasons my wife is in this gallery though.
Dez and I started dating over the phone really. I was on a break from NYC, staying at my Mom's place in WI after school, having needed to get away as my anxiety was at an all time high. I was alone in the city, and walking down the street could cause panic attacks, and I could end up crying for no reason. I had recently lost my Aunt Barbara, and life was unfortunately too hard to be by myself.
Dez and I had a class together in SVA, but we ironically had NEVER spoken to one another in class. One random day while I was in WI, I get a message from Dez out of the blue on good old MySpace. At first we just messaged each other everyday sending each other cartoons from explodingdog.com. Eventually we started to talk on the phone bonding, and watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force every night together.
It was also during this time, that I got to see what Dez was capable as an artist. Dez's ability to capture a person in a portrait was on a whole different level than I had seen before. The figurative draftsmanship is something I always to this day admired. She also has this knack for capturing sadness, and dark in the world with her art.
Dez's favorite character in The War for Kaleb is Addey. And it should be. Addey is my wife, and my wife is Addey. They love their respected partner's with every fiber of their being, unconditionally, without any thought of reward for their affection. It exists, pure and simple with no motive other than it being an extension of their character.
I think Dez's piece captures this perfectly. Addey's worrisome hand on Kaleb's shoulder, with their shared melancholy. The mysterious darkness is there lurking beneath, but Addey has no idea where to dig. It is based off of a consistent response I get from Dez "I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better."
This is the true reason Dez's artwork is in this book. This story belongs to her just as much as it does belong to me.
One of the reasons I wrote this book was to find a way to be a better person to my wife, and also give Dez the understanding of seeing the world through my eyes, the best I could.
Today is also Dez's birthday, and this is part of my gift to her, but everyday I live with her is a gift to me.