12 Artists Whose Drawings Express Mental Illness Struggles • MetDaan

12 Artists Whose Drawings Express Mental Illness Struggles


Many people in this world have to deal with mental illnesses, whether it’s something that affects them directly or someone close to them. It’s a difficult subject to talk about, so perhaps the best approach is to listen to the stories of those who have been there firsthand. And what better medium to express such a complicated thing than art? The talent and the personal experience of these 12 artists have been employed towards helping people understand mental illnesses, and learning how best to help each other.

1. Rubyetc

Ruby captures the struggles she faces every day in her simplistic comics and posts these illustrations on Instagram. What better way is there for us to understand what it means to face this kind of challenges on a daily basis?

Instagram | @rubyetc_

Ruby is also open to questions. That is perhaps the sweetest part: she offers support to a lot of people who ask for advice about their own issues. By sharing her experiences, she tries to make a difference in their lives.

Instagram | @rubyetc_

2. Chuck

You can find Chuck on Instagram as @chuckdrawsthings. The protagonists of the comics are pigeons, which makes for lighter and more accessible content, while still sharing real-life experiences through the bird’s thoughts.

Instagram | @chuckdrawsthings

The things portrayed are often aspects of mental illness people may not have realized beforehand: for example, that it can affect a person’s creativity or that the way medication changes things is not always for the better, at least not right away.

Instagram | @chuckdrawsthings

3. Gemma Correll

Gemma’s illustrations are amazing and they speak of heavier things. But they do it in such a simple way, anyone can easily understand them, even if they aren’t at all familiar with mental illness or the hardships it brings.

Instagram | @gemmacorrell

The idea behind Correll’s work is to create a sense of community. She makes people feel they’re not alone by sharing her experiences and making them see that she has been where they are now. She always keeps on gently reminding everyone that it’s okay to not be okay.

Instagram | @gemmacorrell

4. Elliana Esquivel

Elliana’s drawings aren’t always about mental illness. But most of the time, one can relate to her portrayal of the confusion brought upon by its presence.

Instagram | @elesq

This artist has a way of expressing the feeling of being unwell in simpler ways.

Instagram | @elesq

5. Katia Oloy

Katia has used the story of Alice in Wonderland to share her experiences.

Tumblr | katiaoloy

She posts her drawings on Tumblr. For one of them, she wrote:

“I am sharing my journey with you all: I’ve found externalizing my anxiety to be helpful and freeing. I hope it helps anyone out there who can relate to the challenges anxiety presents. Remember you are brilliant. And you are not alone.”

Tumblr | katiaoloy

6. Toby Allen

Allen’s project is called Real Monsters and through it, he performs the incredibly important task of raising awareness for less well-known mental illnesses. By giving the illnesses substance and converting them into monsters he makes them easier to understand.

Toby Allen

Here is how he describes his project:

“I hope to draw attention to mental illnesses that often get ignored or aren’t taken as seriously as they should. I want to make people aware of how damaging these illnesses are and how much of a burden they can be to those who suffer from them. The project highlights conditions that some people may have never even heard of, so the work aims to raise awareness for these.”

Toby Allen

7. Shawn Coss

Shawn Coss became very popular on the Internet when he began sharing his Inktober drawings about mental illness.

Instagram | @shawncoss

His drawings show just how people with these disorders perceive themselves as monsters. The artwork has had an amazingly positive effect in getting users in the comment sections of his posts sharing experiences and telling their own stories.

Instagram | @shawncoss

8. Marissa Betley

Marissa Betley founded and illustrated Project 1 in 4. It all began as a hundred-day challenge: she wanted to give her support to a cause that is dear to her.

Instagram | @project1in4

But things have grown and now the project is a whole organization whose aim is to erase the stigma surrounding mental health. Betley’s drawings are simple but they draw power from being based on true experiences – visit her Instagram to find out more.

Instagram | @project1in4

9. Zoe Emma

Zoe Emma’s drawings are a way for her to understand herself and work through her struggles. With every one of them she takes another step towards healing and understanding. The feeling of isolation that pervades her drawings is very easily perceived.

Zoe Emma

In an interview with Dazed, she said:

“Many can shame the conditions due to not fully understanding the effects they cause. This can result in someone with mental health problems to feel isolated and discriminated against. Just because it isn’t always visible on the outside, you can’t dismiss that it’s the same for the inside. It is important that people understand the real facts behind mental health in order to put a hold on myths like these being spread.”

Zoe Emma

10. Myriam Tillson

Myriam Tillson also uses Inktober to express different feelings related to mental health. In her drawings, they are often personified.

Instagram | @myriamtillson

Tillson uses her posts to encourage everyone to reach out. She never tells what her drawings represent: she prefers to hear what people feel or think when they see them. It’s just another way to get them to open up and talk about their feelings and struggles.

Instagram | @myriamtillson

11. Nosipho Nxele

Nxele’s powerful work tries to disperse the stigma around female mental health. The illustrations warn that ignoring mental health issues can lead to different kinds of feelings of oppresion.

Behance | Nosipho Nxele

Nxele’s drawings are interwoven with her love of philosophy: the artwork is mostly based on Rene Descartes and his Meditations on First Philosophy. By combining her talent with Descartes’ influential teachings, the artist is deconstructing the misconceptions she grew up with.

Behance | Nosipho Nxele

12. Sow Ay

Sow Ay found it difficult to express his mental health journey in words, so he’s taken up drawing as an outlet. In the beginning he found the thought of sharing his experience terrifying, but since then he’s been very candid about his anxiety and depression.

Instagram | @sow_ay

Ay has admitted it hasn’t been easy to be honest about this kind of thing, but the artist believes the more brave people step out and share, the easier it will become for everyone to talk about these complex issues.

Instagram | @sow_ay

Mental illness is very serious, and it is often very difficult to understand or put into words, even for the people who struggle with it on a daily basis. But the most important thing is to remember is that you are not alone. We must keep this conversation flowing and help as many people as we can to reach out and find the support they need. Share your story, perhaps you will be the inspiration for someone to do the same.

Source: diply

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