A-to-Z Challenge, Day 4: Dazecore

No beating around the bush today; today’s aesthetic is: Dazecore.

From the Aesthetics wiki:

Dazecore is an aesthetic inspired by sleepless nights and the buzz of late night/early morning thoughts. It is very closely linked to UrbancoreGeek, and Dark Minimalism, heavily influenced by artists working in the early hours of the morning and students staying up late at night working on papers…

A lot of elements of Dazecore can cross over into the After Hours aesthetic, but viewed through more of a Dreamy lens.

Softly glowing screens in dark rooms

Lo-Fi music, crackling through broken headphones

Stacks of notebooks with scribbles in the margin

Time seeming to slow down around 3am

Racing thoughts and shaking hands

Unknown footsteps on creaky stairs

Late-night texts to loved ones

Reoccurring dreams of falling endlessly

After I got married, my wife and I – still subsisting on only my income while she job hunted, living in a rent controlled apartment with bars on the windows – were graciously gifted a makeshift honeymoon by her grandparents.  We would fly out to Florida and stay with them in Ormond Beach for ten days, and they would escort us to and pay our way through the parks, beaches, and tourist attractions.  It was an incredibly kind gesture, and we booked for the middle of August, slightly less than a month after our wedding.  The night before our flight, we turned all the lights low in our apartment and got into bed, armed with anticipation, magazines, and a boxed set of “The Simpsons,” knowing we wouldn’t sleep (our flight was at like six am, our Easy Tran bus at 3 am), but not quite knowing what else we should do.  In the low, artificial golden light of our lamps, everything seemed to buzz; everything we said sounded like an inside joke and was infinitely funnier than it would have been in the light of day.  We read each other Cosmo quizzes while the TV provided some grounding familiarity, and when it was time to load up and head out, the heavy humidity and the absolute stillness of the air (save for the sounds of crickets) made stepping out the door feel like stepping into an alternate reality.

I fucking love that feeling.  I love everything about it.  I fell in love at 3 am; I’ve had some of my most treasured memories sleep deprived in the hours just before dawn.  The sky just before sunrise is such a lovely thing.

I’m thinking a simpler piece this time, but one that takes the focus away from the comfort of drawing human figures.  Drawing on my own experiences, both from the night before my honeymoon, and countless vacation and convention weekends.  I see two people in bed, not in a romantic sense, but definitely an intimate scene.  We see them from the back; they aren’t fully in silhouette, but they are backlit, from our perspective (woo, rim lighting!) One is curled in on themself, dozing, or close to sleep. The other has their hands on their knees, resting their head on their arms, a glowing laptop laid in front of them, playing their favorite familiar show. Beyond that, around them, the darkness of 3 am; out their window, a glowing, metropolitan cityscape, a Boston or a New York, where the skyline always dotted with points of light. An empty bottle of wine and two precariously balanced glasses are nestled in the space between them. The duvets are messy from a night full of not-sleeping, of hushed conversation on hand-over-mouth giggles, their nightshirts oversized and falling off their shoulders, and they too tired to fix them.

Ugh, I need a convention weekend soon. This has made me so miss the sleepless nights of an Anime Boston or an Arisia or an MJ.


Anyway, I hope you are all doing well. I’m working my way very slowly through a drawing that I am, uh, well — a drawing that I like in theory, but that I’m not absolutely sold on just yet, but I’m willing to work through and hopefully come around to it.

Grand things on the horizon, guys. It’s so enchanting being excited for what lies ahead. Spring always puts me in that frame of mind.

Take care of yourselves, and each other. Cheers.

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