When I first considered the topic of the opiate crisis, I had an image in my mind of a man clutching his stomach. The slightly slumped over pose for the figure was influenced by Manet's beggar and by Goya's prisoner etchings. Similar to those works, my intention was to create a figure that would be sympathetic and almost asking for help. I wanted the painting to be monochromatic except for the poppy flowers in the foreground that were painted a bit more thick. The trees were inspired by Van Gogh''s Pollard birches and I have always thought they looked like dendrites in the brain.