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.
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?
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 😊).