Back in 2012, I was preparing for a show of my paintings at a gallery in Connecticut right before a big move to Boston, where my wife had been accepted into the MFA poetry program at BU. The hassle of the move, the intense pressure of the show, and other things going on in my life at the time became too much for me to handle. I cancelled the show, and when we got to Boston, I hit a wall. Painting was no longer flowing or fun for me, and I fell into a low-grade depression.
In order to get myself out of this depression, I started journaling and began reflecting on how difficult life seemed to be for me as an INFJ, my Myers-Briggs personality type. Among other things, INFJs are super sensitive, emotional, and introverted—all positive characteristics, but ones that can be truly challenging.
I also started looking for another medium to explore, something that could bring back fun into my art life. I remembered how, back in my junior high days, I loved to draw political cartoons and cover my folders with caricatures of people I knew. So I began cartooning about my Myers-Briggs type. I invented the online persona INFJoe and started posting them on the Internet. Wanting to encourage others like me who might be feeling odd or out of place, I thought cartooning would be a great way to do it—approaching an intense personality type with a bit of humor.
Through cartooning and journaling, I managed to get myself out of that funk. Today I’m back at the easel painting (back in Connecticut), keeping things fun and manageable. And, as a result of exploring a new medium, I eventually put together a book of cartoons for all introverted personality types called Text Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life, which was published by TarcherPerigee in August of 2017.
Aaron Caycedo-Kimura is a visual artist, poet, and cartoonist. His paintings have appeared in galleries throughout Connecticut, including the John Slade Ely House in New Haven, the Westport Arts Center in Westport, and City Lights Gallery in Bridgeport. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Off the Coast, San Pedro River Review, Connecticut River Review, Crack the Spine, Rust + Moth, Gravel, Tule Review, and elsewhere.
Click the link below if you want to buy his latest book: