Cover Girl! 💋

Art was never the primary function of this website. As time has passed it’s become more about the mental well-being of others and showing that creativity can help with stressful symptoms.

It’s been a wild ride so far.

But by default of the writing and drawing I do for the site and the messages I send out offering to help other mental health publications / journals / websites / crusades, I’ve found a teeny tiny demand for my work, both written and scribbled (digitally, of course).

So when the radical mental health publication Asylum Magazine asked me if they could use my artwork for the front and back cover of their next issue, I was blooming well knocked sideways and thrilled (a weird feeling).

They chose artwork I’ve posted on here previously – a pop art style illustration of the word ‘Shit!’ for the cover, and an altered version of the exploding emoji on the back cover.

Asylum Magazine front cover
Asylum Magazine back cover

They look beautiful and this was a real ‘pinch yourself’ moment for me. On Twitter someone suggested this was ‘possibly the best front page of any magazine EVER!’. High praise indeed, and difficult for me to compute.

I don’t know if my artwork will ever manage something this awesome again and, although I hope it does, getting to this unplanned and surprising stage is brilliant anyway.

So here’s the most important thing. This unexpected and wonderful event is kinda proving what’s possible when you let creativity distract you. My Creative Coping Strategies campaign has become a journey for me too, and even my weird life can make something cool and exciting happen.

Remember I’m still sat in the same place now, and I was when I drew these pictures and when I got the email from Asylum asking if they can use them. It was all done from my side of the bed, with heavy pain relief running the show, often in the dead of night, and always feeling anxious about the days and weeks ahead. In all that time, I still haven’t left the house and my social anxiety has got much worse.

Amazing things can happen even in the strangest and most difficult circumstances. You can still be productive and creative, even if the rest of the world scares you.

So try it out, draw a picture, bake a cake, make a kite, play that old record and dance some time away. Who knows where it might take you?

The picture

I had to draw something new for this, because I was tempted to use the pop art ‘shit’ again, but I feel like that’s public property now.

Instead I drew my daughters current favourite animal, a giraffe, having a doze with his pile of magazines next to him. Asylum is in his pile, he’s already read it from cover to cover, and glanced with a grin at my picture on the front (and then the one on the back 😊).

Published by stephc2021

Hi! I'm Steph, an amateur writer and illustrator specialising in Mental Health and being a self-confessed Spoonie. My website is home to any successful fiction I create, with stories that have won so far covering difficult subjects such as baby loss and mental health in grief as well as some funny and heart-warming tales when I get the inspiration. Every drawing and picture on my website was created by me. I spend a lot of time coming up with illustrations to accompany all of my posts and pages. I try to create original content across all of my channels, whether I'm writing about my own fiction or just generally musing on mental health or my own issues. I want to be part of the change because I believe the understanding of MH in the UK is getting better, but has a very long way to go. By being honest about my own struggles and symptoms I think others will relate and hopefully it will encourage them to talk to someone and get the help and support they need. Long term my goal is to help children too, help them understand their own mental health and how to help with the mental health of those around them. I live in the UK with my partner, daughter and dog, I swear frequently and I adore a well made, traditional, gooey, chocolatey, delicious brownie.

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