ARTISTS AND MADMEN: The Mythology of LEAD
On July 18, 1610 A desperate artist, in a final attempt to achieve greatness, kills one of the great masters of all time, Leonardo De Caravaggio, and turns his ashes into a pencil in hopes that Caravaggio's skills would be manifest in the eerie, dangerous looking instrument itself. The determined artist's plan worked. What the man didn't realize is that in exchange for the artistic brilliance the mystical pencil offered, it would require something quite lethal in return.
Many artists who achieved great fame and respect were not actually "mad" as we've always presumed them to be. They were in fact all possessed by this lethal supernatural pencil that required great sacrifices to achieve great gains. Many of man's finest (and most violent) works were pencil inspired: Goya's "Disasters of War," Kubin's "Water Ghost," Gericault's "Heads Severed," Bacon's "Portrait of Pope Innocent X", Rapp's "Deterioration of Mind Over Matter," Dali's "The Face of War."
Although these and other famous artists can be traced down through the magical pencil's long violent line, there are also some infamous owners as well. The pencil did not guarantee artistic genius, but merely served as a conduit for the inherent talent within each of its many masters. Although there are too many killers along its century's old lineage to mention, a couple of the more recent notable ones were Richard Ramirez and John Wayne Gacey who gained widespread notoriety not for their poor attempts at art, but for their vicious serial killings.
Although the original killer/artist left a clue about how to ultimately defeat the deadly object, he didn't notate the magical properties of the pencil. For the sake of clarity and brevity, here are the five guiding principles of the supernatural pencil::
1) The pencil will always draw the next "target," in advance. But sometimes it lies. In order to lead artists down dark paths, sometimes the pencil will lead the artist toward someone who is to be murdered, simply for the pencil's own blood lust - its own violent inspiration, if you will. Eventually the pencil will draw a picture of its next desired owner in the ARTISTS AND MADMEN sketchbook. After the pencil has selected its next master, it is ready to be passed along to this next poor, desperate artist.
2) When the pencil glows, it's basically telling the artist that it wants to sketch at that moment. Once an artist picks up a glowing pencil, the pencil will not stop until the sketch is completed. There's nothing an artist can do once the pencil is in his/her hands and has begun to draw. The glowing pencil first lures artists in with gorgeous, peaceful pictures that lead to a modicum of success. But the more the artist craves increased success and fame , the more violent the pencil becomes. Once a pencil pulsates, there is nothing that can stop it from killing, except if one destroys or hides the target drawing it has created.
3) if an artist tries to leave the pencil before it has completely ruined the artist's life, it will find its way back and not let its master go until s/he has claimed it again. Once an artist has the pencil, there are only two ways s/he can get rid of it: 1) pass it on to another artist who will take it willingly OR 2) sacrifice oneself.
4) In addition to the pencil finding its way into an unwilling master's hand, the master, after developing a co-dependent relationship, may also "will" the pencil to come to him/her.
5) The pencil is still sharp and so can be used as a knife if necessary (even without it's magical powers.) In this case (when the pencil is black) all the action must come from the artist's' own volition.