Talking about mental health doesn’t come easy to everyone. For many creatives, their art is a powerful medium to share their own (and others') experiences and challenges as an way of normalizing the conversation.
When it comes to social media, the relationship with mental health is deeply complex; it's all too easy to feel the negative impact of scrolling through feeds of filtered pictures and carefully-curated life highlights. Despite this, there are many creatives sharing their art to build a different kind of community.
We've rounded up our top 5 artists who are working to create a positive narrative about mental health and make social media a more creative place at the same time.
Created by Jules Bonasera, Conscious Conversations is the IG account that the card game came out of (or maybe it was the other way around?!) With a tagline of "the most meaningful conversation you'll ever have", the game contains 100 questions to spark endless conversations. The Instagram account is an irreverent collection of bold typographic affirmation signs. But you won't find the usual Instagram saccharine here: Conscious Conversations likes its mental health with a witty edge.
Dr Emma Hepburn, aka The Psychology Mum, draws bite-sized lessons in psychology with the help of Brain the brain. She and Brain address topics that affect all of us like burnout, Covid fatigue, imposter syndrome and more, accompanied by simple illustrations. Never patronizing or holier-than-thou, Dr Hepburn's account is like a soothing cup of herbal tea that's at the perfect temperature.
Allison 'Alli' Simon, aka Om Girl Allison, doles out snippets of meditation, movement and healing justice through beautifully composed photography and video. A meditation and yoga teacher in South LA, Simon is also the co-founder of Black Being, a community organization that honors and prioritizes the wellbeing journey of black people.
Gemma Correll's semi-autobiographical account is full of "comics about mental health, life and pugs". Equal parts vulnerable and funny, Gemma tells stories of things she's dealth with relating to her mental health, like dealing with travel anxiety while visiting her family in the UK. Her pugs make regular appearances and deserve accounts of their own.
The anonymous artist behind Worry Lines' jokes often address moments of worry with tenderness and a childlike sense of play. In one drawing, a meditating figure muses about the true nature of self, and finds they are mostly potato. Overall, her gentle drawings are full of movement and funny little reminders to take a break from worrying and to play.
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