Art

Your Own Stories

I have a friend who is always upbeat and radiates positivity; she is a person who makes everyone around her feel good. She not only supports and consoles me but also those friends around her when they are unhappy; in my eyes, she is a mental health hero who will always be there to encourage and listening to everyone. But one day I recognized that my friend, the sweet girl who was always smiling and happy, was not as strong and positive as she appeared to me and other friends. I eventually realized that her wonderful attributes and cheery demeanor were all masks she had made to disguise the darkness inside of her. My friend is currently suffering from depression and is undergoing psychological treatment. Now, her condition has improved, and she is beginning to open up more in sharing her struggles with friends and me.

Words of Hope

I wanted to create an artistic portrayal of how words can empower people and encourage them to persevere through difficult circumstances. People say that actions matter than words, but I think that words should not be underestimated in how powerful they can be. When I was creating this artwork, I wanted to juxtapose sadness and relief to tell this person’s story: unhappy at first, but as they glance at the phone lying beside them and see the messages they are receiving, they feel relief knowing that there are people that are concerned for them and that are willing to listen to their troubles. I feel that everyone going through tough times deserves to receive those messages. Whether it’s just “Are you okay?” or “Do you want to talk about it?” all of it matters. Those kinds of messages can fill people with the hope they need to persevere through their situation.

Dreamfall

This piece represents my mental health hero in multiple ways. Within my piece I wanted to show the feeling of being alone without the realization of someone waiting to catch you. At the top of the page my character has to wake up to the struggles of reality. As my character falls she becomes intertwined with the words of others, but as she continues to dive downward, patiently awaiting below is the warm hands of my mom. The increase of clothing represents the growing comfort and safety I feel when I’m with my mom. The artwork I’ve created is both original and personal. I hope you also find this piece to be relatable to your everyday life.

La Mia Famiglia

I wanted to depict a happy family because the minute you are born and brought into this world, the people that will always be there for you no matter what is your parents. For me, family means the world. I come from an Italian background, and with that come people who are always there willing to love, help, and support me. My family always wants me to reach for the stars. They told me that I can achieve anything in life and that they will always be by my side.

My Mom is…

My entry is a drawing of my mom made up of words describing her. She has always been someone who I can look up to and who cares for me no matter what I do. She is an incredible figure in my life who I try to model myself after. In short, my hero. I would tell more about her, but you only need to look at my drawing to see what kind of person she is. She is so supportive and has always given me confidence when I doubted myself. I will always be grateful to her.

Support Puzzle

The mental health heroes I decided to portray are my friends. Individually, we all have our struggles and mental blocks; together, we can fill in each other’s gaps of mental vulnerability. If one friend is going through something, the rest of us will help support them however we can. Not everyone has the same problems, which is why we are like a puzzle. Each of us brings a piece to the table, whether that be experience, advice, or even just emotional support. The format I made the piece was akin to a video call because the group of friends I drew is people I got much closer to during a time when we were supposed to be further than ever. Quarantine. Growing up comes with many struggles, many of them mental, but my friend group will always support each other through it all.

The Guide of Life

I chose my dog, his name is S’mores, as my mental health hero. After a long day, going home and spending time with my dog always makes me happy. I drew that landscape to describe the highs and lows of life. The right part of the drawing represents the sad parts of life. My dog and I are passing over the bridge to the other side. He is guiding me and helping me be happy.

A Friend Like Ozzy

I’ve chosen to take the monthly prompt “mental heroes” as a way to look back and see what my mental heroes looked like dating all the way back to my childhood. I had this one stuffed animal that I just couldn’t ever part with, and his name was Ozzy. Ozzy was a friend to keep at night to keep the monsters at bay, but his specialty was helping me throughout the day. Like keeping me company, keeping my secrets, and just being there for me. I can honestly say Ozzy saved me from the hardships of elementary school. I’ve chosen to draw my piece in a format of a child’s to again showcase that all of this is through the mind of my 7-year-old self.

Reggie; Our Mentor

Reggie is the CEO/founder of Project Aware, a program that helps kids learn to cope with their emotions. There are thousands of things I could say about this amazing man. He’s done so much for me and my partner, we’ve learned so much about not only ourselves, but others. We’ve learned to be more emphatic, more caring and loving. He asks us such out of the box questions that really make you reflect on yourself, and I have no idea where I’d be without him. He’s an amazing mentor, hardworking, and deserves to be celebrated. This artwork is something to reflect how much we truly care for him. He helps so many people in his processes and deserves to receive something for that.

Submerged

I wanted to illustrate a scene that showcased how hope could help you recover from a dark mental state. The chains that the character is being held down with represents the circumstances and emotions that’s keeping her in a dark place, where the diving mask/bubbles represent hope in the situation, as it’s keeping her stable until she can find a solution to escape from the shackles. There is always a surface, no matter how deep down you are in the sea.