My last writing in this “bio”, I was but a mere hairless hyena. The end of my 20’s offered me an evolution I have been feeling. The boy who spent his days so blue, sprung into a young man red with anger. Now, as I work towards an alignment of my selves, the purple hyena begins to emerge.
It is a trip how quickly the world can change, even more so how easily we can forget that. It has been sometime since my days at Seneca College. I have continued building my creative portfolio, creating many self-propelled projects and being granted opportunities like residencies over the locked down times. My music group dimebagcrew and clothing line, underbellysociety are both still kicking around. Although DBC is a bit more elusive as a unit, the members are still working and grinding on their crafts. Hit up my youtube for any new drops from ya boy nicridic at nicridicTV!
For my 30th birthday, I pushed myself to finally gather a decent collection of my creative writing, that I published under the title “1991: i hate it here, but i love u”. This project, like many of the ones I undertake under personal moment, helped me unpack, heal, and pay back the parts of myself that helped me through the hardest times in my life. My council of Nix. I have come to the realization that my heart has been, and still remains in mourning. You can fight until your fists bleed, and cry until you drown, but no matter what you do to get back to that place you yearn for… it won’t matter. Because that place doesn’t exist anymore. Time is this distance that exists so far beyond us, you can take it back. You can’t get it back. You can not go back. And yet, so many of us… walk like zombies, chasing ghosts. But all the ghouls and glamour don’t change anything, and it hurts. So much sometimes, but what do you do? I feel like being a grown-up is letting go of the blame, the pain and the heartache… but sometimes it feels like thats all thats been holding me together. A past in the dirt, but how do you mourn that?
To make it matter, I create. For a long time I felt like my own imaginary friend. When I found creation and art, that helped me feel real. Like that person on the cliffside that writes “So and So was here!”. Validating existence by leaving a mark. But it can’t just stop there, the evolution always continues, time doth move forward. And as should we.
In my very young days, it was creative strangers in public spaces like libraries and community centers who gave me hope and inspired me. Now as I try to come to grips with my own adulthood and what that means to a broken boy born of Peter Pan and the lost boys, I realize the importance of the lessons I have garnered, and the value of passing creative wisdom on, paying it forward.
When I was a boy, I had this image of this man in my head. He was this slim silhouetted figure, never really seen his face. I had always hoped he would come and take me away, maybe back home, maybe who knows… then I grew-up to be him, he was me. I had always just wanted to be somebody that I never really had. I just don’t want anyone to feel like that little boy did.
The irony about 2020, that was gonna be the year I was going to start living in the world, go beyond the veil of depression and PTSD. And then COVID happened, then the world started living the way I had been already. There is the irony I think? But now that we are adjusting, I am continuing putting out the music, and a lot of visual arts via paintings (@thelastcandybandit) and underbellysociety. But I have added custom rug making with @ridic.rugz, and am working on expanding my creative network and potential collaborators. So hit me up if you want to make some dope shit!
I am looking to venture into more mediums of storytelling like comic books and video editing as well as continued growth in music, fashion and creative exploration!
Oh life, you mysterious asshole.
I am Nicholas Ridiculous. I am a not-so young Canadian male, born and raised in the province of Ontario. I hate being asked the question “Where are you from?” because, for my life it is such an exhausting question to try and answer. That is why I said Ontario, I have bounced around this beautifully confused province, but have not ventured too much beyond its borders. On April 22nd 1991, I was born in Belleville at the general hospital, to a young thug of a mother. I have 4 brothers, and two half sisters I have only just recently found through the magic of modern social media. My family never had much for wealth, or anything really. I remember back in those days a large sprawling clan, that weaved throughout our little community. Somewhere in my early years though, my Mum made a decision to move to Hamilton, Ontario. Spread her wings, or what have you. It was cool, taking on the world with my Mum, being raised and looked after by people who were younger than I am now. Although it hurt to leave my older brother behind with my grandparents. Sadly the large boarding house where our family had lived, was engulfed by a devastating fire. That was but the first bit of proof of what I call, our family curse.
As time went on, I gained a lot of childhood independence. Maybe that is why the Children’s Aid Society got involved. Time, and time, and time again. That is the real reason, the reason why it is so hard to remember my own goddamned life. Because it is just this mess of mismatched pieces that are so hard to make out, it is not even worth trying most of the time. It was a long life of pain, confusion, and mistreatment bordering on neglect. Once an agency gets it’s claws into you, or even your family, that is it. The institutionalization begins. Forced from all you knew, into some strange carbon copy life that will never be truly yours, at all. Forced to deal with the inner turmoil of holding on to what you love and cherish, or submitting to forces who have power and control over you that no one ever should. It was not an easy time, nor is it still. I am still trying to pick-up the pieces they left me with. To rebuild a family that was left so damn broken, and to repair an inner child left with such worthlessness and self-doubt. I am working on changing and breaking the cycle of child welfare agencies getting involved in my life and that of my family. Nobody should have such fears, no parent, or child. Ten months ago, I applied to receive my entire life file from the Ontario Children’s Aid Foundation, and almost a year later they are mailing me 3 binders full of documentation and reports. I will have their side of the story in great detail, and will be able to better piece together my past from that.
The family curse just seemed to persist, slowly breaking apart what I once thought of as a strong clan of gypsy-esque roughnecks. People being locked away, passing far before their time, nobody ever really being able to pull themselves out from the underbelly of society. The more and more foster homes I was put into, the further and further away I felt I was getting from my family. Suddenly a massive divide and disconnection became very apparent. When you don’t have your family around, you begin to forget what it is to even be a part of a family. The simulations of the foster homes could never really amount to what they were trying to replace. Even now, I find it hard to just be with my family. I have lost grip on my value of relationships, it just seemed to deteriorate before my eyes.
When I had finally escaped all the foster homes, repression, and neglect, I moved to Kingston, Ontario. Where I flunked out of college at 18, went into a hard downward spiral, and pulled myself out of it. Having so many mental problems and issues that were so unaware to me at the time, the best these child welfare agencies could offer me was pills, and prescriptions, and false answers, and band-aid solutions. Until, they left me completely on my own, in a strange city. I felt like a lost kid and it sucked, a lot. After finally pulling myself out a very deep and dark hole, I got my first job at Tim Horton’s. Making money felt pretty damn good. And luckily I have always existed on the poor and poverty side of the world, so the pennies I made felt like nickle and dimes. But growing up poor, it really gives you bad sense of what money is worth, because we never have it. Like many, many things in life, I am still trying to figure that out.
After working at Tim Horton’s, I began my first job as an embroidery assistant. I had always had a natural interest in fashion. I had learned to recognize the social standings in regards to fashion at a young age on the schoolyard. It was the best way to hide your status, or where you are coming from. That paired with my love of visual arts, it all just made sense to pursue it if I could, I really had nothing else going on. I didn’t think I had ever really been good at anything other than some writing I did in high school that I got recognized for a couple of times. But that I felt would be worth pursuing so, I ended up getting a job as an embroidery assistant, and that got me the experience to just kind of keep landing jobs in that field; embroidery, heat-pressing and a little bit of screen-printing. Working in all those kinds of places had my gears just-a-spinning. That is when I began my first “brand”, more like me hand-cutting logos out and putting them on t-shirts, sweaters, or anything really. I had called it DimeBagCrew, and it really saw me through some hard and rough times.
I have always had an overactive imagination, and a knack for creativity. When I didn’t have toys to play with, I would play pretend, fighting an army pf invisible assailants, or turning a small ball of clay into a man and running him through adventure after adventure. When I was a very young boy, all I wanted to be was the red Power Ranger, then after that the movie came out with the ninjas. Every dandelion I wished upon from then on, was for me to be the red ninja. Somewhere along my path of growing-up, my imagination was dulled. Dulled through fear, insecurity, and the negativity of others. When I started school, and was moving around a lot, I went to like 13 different public schools, always the new kid, always having to find a friend or pal. But often times, finding the bullies. Who want to pick-on the sad-eyed, quiet new kid. If I had been given the right supports and opportunities in those wee-early years, I probably would not be the same person I am today. I never really got to reach my full potential, and after moving around so much you just learn to coast by without standing out. Being nothing is easy, when you’re conditioned to accept it.
Conditioning, that is something I am working on overcoming now. All of the influences that have stunted and repressed my inner growth through fear and shame, inflicted upon me by people who were supposed to protect me and help me prosper in life. It sucks to feel so betrayed, by nobody in particular. I am working diligently to conquer the learned helplessness that was instilled in me through my upbringing of institutionalization within the child welfare system. What is the point of a child welfare system, if the children do not fare well. Broken children, growing up to be worse off adults. I am doing my best to overcome this, while also supporting myself and trying to find my place in the world. I love to create, and want to help people. I feel like those two desires could go hand-in-hand.
More recently, I moved to the big city of Toronto. I have graduated from Seneca College with a certificate in fashion studies, and I am about to graduate the fashion arts program at Seneca as well. I am working on completing a lot of projects I have, and bringing buried ideas to life. I find it very easy to feel so lost and invisible in this city, but I am working on finding my tribe. The like-minded individuals out there who share the same vision of the world, to come together to tell our stories. I’m just being candid with you. Like everyone else, I’m just trying to hold it all together and make it out alive.