mind expanding nonsense

First of all, let’s get this out of the way. I’m not Hansi. This is a guest hallucination. My name is Sean.  Hansi is my Dad, so I’m half a Hansi (maybe that explains why only half the stuff on my Dad’s blog is too embarrassing to read).

There’s plenty I remember about Hansi from when I was a youngster.  He made waffles on the weekend for breakfast, when we were lucky. When we were unlucky, he made scrambled eggs.

Hansi was the less strict parent, so when I wanted to ride my bike across town for something, I’d ask him instead of Mom (now that this trick no longer applies, I can share this tidbit).  He also taught me about “mental health” days, although that was a lesson I would not come to fully appreciate until I was older.  Like right now, for instance.

A mental health day, of course, is like a sick day, except the problem isn’t physical so much as mental.  Namely, going ‘mental’ from working too much. When my Dad needed a break from the “House Of Pain”, he’d call up, feign sickness, and viola!  A free day off!  I didn’t quite get it when I was 10, but I get it now!

Fast forward 22 years, and I needed a mental health day. My Dad had the “House of Pain”; I’ve got “The Spice Mines”. It is a cubicle infested cave where the “Man” makes us slave away under his whip and paycheck.  Now, I gotta say, my job isn’t terrible. In fact, I’ve got a good job.  At my Dad’s urging, I didn’t just go to art school and be an art major.  My folks needed me to be able to support myself some day so they could turn my old bedroom into a storage room for all their stuff.  I went to a “top three” Engineering school, and managed to finagle both a Mechanical Engineering degree and an Art degree. As a result, I’ve got a fine job as an engineering professional.

Like I said though, sometimes I need a mental health day. I realized I needed one the other day when I was sitting in on a conference call, and doodled this into my daily planner. It is loosely based on reality, with a few exaggerations for effect:

I looked down at what I had drawn, and realized I might be a bit burnt out from slaving away in the Spice Mines.

This was on a Wednesday, so I took inspiration from that lesson from Hansi, and told the boss man that I wasn’t going to be able to make it in to the Mines for the next couple days. Double Mental Health day!

Mental Health days do work wonders for one’s mental health. I woke up on Thursday refreshed, and able to focus on my own work. I make woodblock relief prints, and I recently got my hands on a bunch of sheets of mylar. Having four Mental Health days in a row at my disposal, I got to work; art-work that is.

When the sun rises on a mental health day, it seems to rise a little brighter and warmer than usual. I channeled that sunrise into this print, to make use of the natural translucence of mylar.

What I love about this print is that it looks different when hung against a wall, and when hung against a window, allowing the sun to shine through it.

Mental health at work, courtesy of a little life lesson from Hansi.

Thanks Sean.  You can see his artwork on his blog Sean Neprud.com  scroll down and check-out his work.  Especially the last one where he builds a fort in his front room.  He’s still my little boy.


Comments on: "Mental Health or The Sun Also Rises" (20)

  1. Thanks for hosting me here, Dad!

  2. You’re a chip off the old block Sean. Well done Hans.

  3. Looks like the principal planning more things to harass teachers and make everyone in general lives miserable. I hope you got paid for this.

    • He most certainly did! That’s the beauty of a ‘mental health’ day: leave WITH pay.


  4. Excellent talent……

  5. Clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! (and I mean that as a compliment to both of you).

    Good on you for throwing a sickie, Sean. I look forward to following your blog.

  6. Snoring Dog Studio said:

    We are doubly fortunate to have you both – and the artistic talent runs in the family! I’m sure your Dad appreciates the man cave you’ve permitted him.

  7. Absolutely brilliant – until I checked out Sean’s blog I was sure this was an elaborate put-on by Hansi – you are both amazing…

    • Nope….Sean is the real deal, and a much more serious artist than me.


      • I don’t have as much time available to work on art though. My ambition in life is to retire, like my Dad.

  8. Half of Hansi, Son of Hansi, Semi Hansi … nonetheless, cheers to being being taught and exercising mental health days.

    • Ah yes…”mental health days”…the one good thing I passed along to the next generation.


  9. michaelbanak said:

    Great drawings sean! The talent runs in the family

  10. So cool to hear about Hansi from the outside. Thanks and hello, Sean. That is also some fabulous doodle! PS. Love the detail about your dad cooking waffles. Made me think about my own gorgeous father cooking us banana fritters.

  11. You are clearly very talented, Sean. I think that you drew the picture in your work planner is clear evidence you were in grave need for a mental health day! So glad you took it 🙂 Debra

  12. drawingsofdubiousquality said:

    Wait a second…how did you get a picture of me sitting in my cubicle?

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