Blog / 2021 / Read or Die

October 5, 2021

skeleton reading a book, a funny play on “ride or die” meme for librarians and people who love books
Gwenn Seemel
Read or Die
acrylic, colored pencil, and marker on paper
11 x 7 inches
(The original has sold, but, for prints, go to my Redbubble shop.)

Your “ride or die” is a person who is always there for you, no matter what. The term originated in 1950s biker culture with the people who rode with you no matter what your problems were, and the expression was later popularized through hip-hop music.

I’m incredibly lucky in that I have a few “ride or die” people in my life, but, still, there’s only one ultimate “ride or die” for me. They’re there for me when I’m at my lowest—when I dislike myself so thoroughly that I can’t stand the idea of someone else being near me, because they’ll remind me that I exist. They’re there for me when I’m at my best, in the warm embrace of contentment and optimal mental health. They are books!

Which is how we get to Read or Die.

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This video reveals that this is one of those situations where I had to make two paintings in order to make one that I was actually happy with. This sort of mistake happens more than I like to admit. I hate the idea of wasting paper or supplies because I didn’t think an image through well enough, which is what happened here.

If you want to see more of my mistakes—live!—come visit me on Twitch, where I’m doing a regular online open studio:

Mondays from 7p to 8p EDT
Thursdays from 12p to 1p EDT
More info here!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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