The Cerulean Project and I: An Update

Hi everyone! We are heading towards the start of the Cerulean project soon and I’m terribly excited about it!

An update!

Now, this has been discussed in a previous blog for those who would like a little more information on it.

For a quick recap:

The Cerulean Project is a community-based art exhibit featuring builders from across the globe. This exhibit is both featured online and in a printed book. The focus of this project is on building a strong healthy community while also raising awareness for mental health. The book and project provide mental health resources and break down the stigma that surrounds mental health.

Bewarned that there is a slight content warning after this post for sensitive subjects.

My entry for the book revolves around my grieving process. Unfortunately, this year is the fifth anniversary of my brother’s passing and that has led to some afterthoughts and emotions.

What they don’t tell you…

Siblings are the mourners who are forgotten. My experience has been true, minus a few family members and friends, a good chunk of my social ties abandoned me at first sight when it came to the aftermath.

Most of the time when a sibling loses another sibling, older or younger, the attention is directed to parents or others (spouses or children).

Does that make sense? Absolutely not but it’s such a common reoccurrence that “sibling survivors” (a common term) experience. People fail to realize that when you lose a sibling you lose a small portion of yourself.

So when you are left to go through this alone, it can leave room for future insecurities and anger.

For me, the anger stemmed from seeing all the roaches come out of the woodworks saying “we were best friends” and “we were so close we talked all the time”. None of those people spoke a damn word to him in years. The audacity to say so sent me through the roof.

Siblings survivors can face other difficulties as well.

Survivors’ guilt is a very common struggle. Sibling survivors often feel the guilt of being the one who survived. We’ll carry this loss our entire lives. This can make things like accomplishments and life goals difficult (Powell & Matthys, 2013). Graduations are, as a personal example, the worst for me.

There’s dredging up childhood resentments. Old sibling rivalries can cause contempt in the grief cycle.

Anger over things like suddenly becoming caretakers of parents or other siblings. Anger towards the sibling is a difficult thing to express as people either condemn it as inappropriate.

Suddenly you start having to mask emotions for the sake of your family or parents. Can’t appear sad or struggling because someone has to “be strong for your parents”. People seem to brush this off as siblings being “okay”, which can often be further from the truth. Siblings who have lost a sibling to things like suicide have a higher can of repeated actions (Rostila et al, 2014)

Now I know what some of you are thinking.

J, what does this have to do with the Cerulean project??


The whole premise behind my entry, as stated at the top of the blog post, is my emotions around my grieving process. I have done a lot of self-reflection when working on this. Typically it is just me and the project at a quiet workbench left to my thoughts.

The overall theme for me is the personal growth between eighteen-year-old me dealing with this all with a sense of insecurity about the future versus me now, who has a better grasp on my grieving. Am I still grieving? Absolutely. This has provided me a method of expressing it because there’s such a disgusting stigma around siblings who discuss this and I want it gone. Writing my experiences and experiences that so many other siblings live through seemed like the right thing to do. I am in several groups for sibling survivors and it’s not something that gets discussed enough.

On to the build!

The first model is an ode to me now. During this whole ordeal, I reconnected with my love of art and colors which was something that I had previously abandoned. I wanted this to be bright and colorful while still containing hints of black and the theme’s signature orange. This look was achieved with rattle cans. I used Montana, Krylon, and Rustoleum. I’m currently waiting for an order of clear beams to come in so that I can suspend this above the second model.

I did do some customizing on the hands, just to try and get them in the position I wanted them in. I added mod podge to the wings for added texture. The gritty texture was from one of the rattle cans messing up but I went with it.

I wanted a renaissance angel feel to this build so I kinda messed with the posing a bit. The base is going to be eyes looking away from the models. A nod to the silent mourner. I attempted to mask it off to paint the eyes because hand painting them would take forever. I need to work on my masking skills. The eyes were made with teddy bear safety eyes.

I look forward to updating and providing more information on this as we head closer to August.

Hope you all enjoyed this post! Thank you for reading it! If you have any questions, drop them below.

Happy Tuesday!



Rostila, M., Saarela, J., & Kawachi, I. (2014). “The psychological skeleton in the closet”: mortality after a sibling’s suicide. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology49(6), 919–927.

Kimberly A. Powell & Ashley Matthys (2013) Effects of Suicide on Siblings: Uncertainty and the Grief Process, Journal of Family Communication, 13:4, 321-339, DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2013.823431

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