Are you happy?

I wanted to go to art school at 18. I didn't get in, so I took 20 years off. I was a fashion model, a video editor, and ran a nightclub in drag. I put photocopies of my drawings all over the walls. That's how the art started. I loved watching people taking away my drawings at the end of the night.

How can you attain happiness? By thinking about it in a strange way, by living in a fantasy. I can be dark, bleak and pessimistic, but that doesn't mean I'm unhappy. There's a Charles Addams drawing of a cinema audience watching a sad film. There's one guy in the front grinning. Maybe that's perverse, but I quite often feel like that guy.

I hate being told to smile. A lot of religious people go through their lives smiling constantly. They've found God, reached a level where they wear a big toothy grin on their faces that won't crack. I was at a wake after a funeral. Someone was taking photos and most people would grip together and smile. What is this facial signal doing at a funeral? Bring out a camera and everyone smiles, no matter what. I'm always suspicious of smiles.

Lots of my friends have committed suicide. I think to myself, I'm still alive. That can be enough, that sensation of not feeling dead. I think I am happy. I'm not miserable. Happiness is not the main thing in my life. If I was that happy, I wouldn't draw - I wouldn't do anything. I'd feel complete.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.