I met Devin Kusse during my freshman year of college. He lived in the same dorm as the guy I was dating at that time and was regularly the instigator of hijinks. Devin was not only talented at making people smile he was a good listener and thoughtful friend. He was killed in an accident this summer when he was riding his motorcycle home from work.
Devin's death was hard to process because he was young, we hadn't spoken in a year or so, and I couldn't go to the funeral. Designing a sugar skull in his honor helped me to reflect on my friendship with Devin and gain a little bit of closure.
There's a lot of symbolism around the eyes. The flower in the middle symbolizes Devin's wife, Emily. The cross is because he was a faithful Christian. The circles and arch represent Devin's enjoyment of his motorcycle.
I added bright, sparkly spirals to to show Devin's energetic and sometimes crazy personality. For example, Devin used to enjoy causing a ruckus in the men's dorm by walking around naked with a single object covering what the other guys clearly did not want to see. One day he came out with just a checkerboard in front of himself and asked my boyfriend if he wanted to play checkers. That story is remembered fondly with the black and white checkered squares.
The mouth is simply another representation of Devin's bright personality. I have a picture where Devin has spiky, bleached blonde hair and is wearing a sweater the color of orange traffic cones. That's how I will always remember him.
Devin enjoyed music. He played guitar and was trying to convince me to learn The Devil Went Down to Georgia on my violin.
Even though I didn't have much contact with Devin anymore his death leaves a hole in my life. I wish I could have been at the funeral to reminisce with his friends and pay my respects. I hope that making art in Devin's honor will help to make up for what I missed.