An Artist's Work Inspired By Mental Health

An Artist's Work Inspired By Mental Health

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My Work Is About Mental Health

This is not something you can see outright, and sometimes I fail to mention it due to the stigma of mental illness, but my artwork is largely about suffering from anxiety and depression. In honor of mental health awareness day, I am sharing the story of how I've covertly been making art about the ebbs and flows that come with depression.

Much of my work can be seen as a reflection of obsessive behavior in the every day. I focus on obsessive tendencies and thinking patterns, whether it is tunnel vision thinking or a fixation with health that leads to a repetitive workout regiment. Obsession is key to both alleviating and causing stress. Repetition and accumulation are major parts of my aesthetic approach to art-making. The knot has become central in my aesthetic vocabulary - linked to fetishism, connectivity, and familial ties while the act of tying knots is a method of coping with anxiety - reinforced through repetitive behavior. My tactile process involves a repetitive series of highly physical steps when slashing, tearing, knotting and stabbing in order to create.

There is a tactile, bodily connection to my work delicately structured through a painstaking process of repetition, accumulation, and seriality.The hand of the maker is evident in the final piece, Purging and Pouring. The dark silk emulates dedication to surface, texture and touch through puckering of material, points of tension and release in continuation throughout the piece, where the fetish broaches the ritualistic. The tangible physical form implies a desire to communicate. Gaping orifices posture the intense need to express or let something out. Conversation, communication or the act of purging is implicit within this gesture of release, where knots and ties pour from the surface, invading the space of the viewer, and thus causing confrontation and contemplation. When the knots enter our space, the work demands interaction and reflection. The outpour can be viewed as a necessary cleansing. The seductive material invites contemplation where the viewer can glean a poetic, emotional narrative of tension and release.



Recognize Growth does not hinge solely on a repetitive action. Instead, there is a rhythm that is almost balanced throughout the work. For the first time I utilize light, cheery colors in my installation. The piece reflects vulnerability, acceptance and progress. There is a balance of vibrance and darkness that I equate to a sense of growth paired with the ebbs and flows of life, a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth. Borrowing from previous work, Purging and Pouring, my new configuration utilizes the tangible physical forms which imply a desire to communicate in areas throughout the piece. The outpour can be viewed as a necessary cleansing. Where the dark knotted strands seem ominous, the soft peach strands unpack an entirely different narrative, communicating ones needs and having the courage to be honest with others and oneself. These forms can be seen flourishing as a result in flowery upholstered blossoms.

As a whole, the installation relies on parts and counterparts. These pieces complete or compliment one another though they are different, from soft and silky, to sticky and weighted they act together to strike a balance. The material use and configuration is playful and thought provoking. The work merely hangs unsteadily, where pins fasten a composition, allowing a sense of instability that keeps the work from becoming static or feeling finished – the struggle and growth is continuous after all. The upholstered objects can be seen as seductive, comical, weighted, erotic or absurd. The contrasting material invites contemplation where the viewer can glean a poetic, emotional narrative of tension and release, decline and regrowth.

Making art about what I am going through helps me to better understand myself and overcome some of these day-to-day struggles. It is a constant battle, but the need to communicate is there. That's why I talk about it with family, close friends and of course with my therapist. I hope by being honest about my art others will be inspired to communicate, seek help and practice self-care through journaling, art-making and expressing themselves.


To see more of my work visit:

My Website

My Instagram

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Ike

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

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9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

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11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

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Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

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Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


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26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

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35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


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Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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10 Reasons You Should Be Listening to The 'And That's Why We Drink' Podcast

If you love supernatural/true crime stories, this is the perfect podcast for you.

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If you are anything like me, you probably have been neglecting podcasts for most of your life. You've thought, "I don't have time to listen to people talk for an hour," even though you spend your free time watching Youtube videos of people talking. Now I'm not saying I've never listened to a podcast before—I'm not completely uncultured. I loved the Sourcefed podcast (RIP Sourcefed), but that was about the extent of my podcast knowledge. I just felt too busy to listen for them.

I recently just did a big road trip to California and felt like I needed something to listen to other than the same old boring music I listen to all the time. I looked into some podcasts to add to my playlist and stumbled upon "And That's Why We Drink," an incredible supernatural/true crime/comedy podcast and I instantly became addicted. It's sparked my interest in podcasts as a medium and these are some reasons why I think everyone should listen to it (you know if you're into that kind of thing).

10. Christine and Em are so good to their listeners

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They are so interactive with listeners on social media and in the podcast itself. I honestly don't think Christine and Em have gone a single episode since the very beginning without saying "I love our listeners so much," at least once. Also, their "Listener Stories" episodes are amazing. They are always so creepy and I love how thankful Christine and Em are that people send their stories in.

9. For a spooky podcast, it's actually really funny as well

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Christine and Em have this great banter and joke around when things get a little uncomfortable. When things in a story get a little too real or unsettling, they always have something to say that lifts the mood a bit. I find myself feeling guilty for laughing sometimes because normally it's about a murder or something equally as bad happening, but it does make me feel better.

8. The titles of each episode are gold

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I have been listening to the podcast in chronological order and every title makes me giggle or super excited to listen. A few of my favorite titles include: "The Wandering Cowboy and The Pregnancy Pact, but for Boys," "The 300-Year-Old Drama Queen and the Bitchy 7th Grader," "A 200-lb Rat and the Dollar Store Plunger," and "A Human Lazy Susan and the Bloody Bunch."

7. They are dedicated to their show

About a year and a half old, the podcast grew a following pretty quickly. Christine and Em have started doing live shows across the country and seem to be having a lot of fun with it! Unfortunately, I don't live near where they have been able to do shows at, but hopefully one day I will be able to attend one. The podcast is still just something they do on the side of their real jobs, but they put in the time and effort to put out an episode every week and do things to give back to their listeners.

6. Christine and Em are seriously relatable

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I honestly feel like Christine and Em are my friends now because I relate to them so much. They will say something and I'm just like "Wow, they get me." Every episode feels like I'm just catching up with friends and they're telling me spooky stories. Also, while I'm not a huge wine fan, I do love a good drink so Christine gets it, and Em has reignited my love of milkshakes. So thanks for that, Em. I also find myself often thinking, "And that's why I drink," after anything remotely bad or weird happens to me.

5. They really do their research

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Each story that Christine and Em tell is well-told and detailed that I never question anything. Normally I feel the need to research things more in-depth after I learn about them, but I never feel the need to do that after an episode. I just accept that Christine and Em do their research so well that I don't need to know anything else about it.

4. Their reactions to each other's stories are on point

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When one of them tells their story to the other, they always have great reactions to what's happening. Christine's gasps and Em's go-to phrases are always on point. I often find myself gasping like Christine while I listen or just straight up yelling to no one while I'm in my car because I seriously can not believe what is happening in the story.

3. The stories they tell are seriously spooky

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I have been listening to this podcast in every spare moment I've had for the last few weeks and I literally feel terrified 24/7. I have done this to myself, but I still think that's a testament to the stories these cool pals choose to share on their show. It's so addicting, I just can't stop listening. If there's anything this podcast has taught me, I am probably right to be scared all the time because there is some weird stuff that happens in this world.

2. Christine and Em are friendship goals

Christine and Em met at grad school, but didn't really become friends until they moved to LA around the same time. The two immediately bonded over their love of spooky stuff, from ghost stories to conspiracy theories to serial killers to aliens, and decided to start a podcast about it. Their banter is one of the best parts of the podcast, and their support for one another's passions is heartwarming.

1. Gio is the good boy you need in your life

Last, but certainly not least, Christine's dog Gio is probably the best part of the whole podcast. Christine and Em often talk about Gio and it honestly makes my day. Whenever a story is getting too dark or spooky, Gio is always there to remind us that there is some good in this world. I mean, just look at that handsome face! Best mascot ever.

I highly suggest you give this podcast a listen. You can find "And That's Why We Drink" on iTunes and Spotify, and you can also check out their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. Happy listening!

Cover Image Credit:

Photo by Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

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