With the ever increasing rise in mental health issues among people in today's society, a part of the problem is not being able to process our emotions in a healthy way, or given a safe space to be witnessed and heard. As a Generation X'er, I grew up having no concept of how to express my feelings in an emotionally intelligent way, and instead, resorted to personal artistic expression as a child.
It wasn't until years later during the pandemic and my need to speak my fears and loneliness was overwhelming. So, I turned to my visual recording work (as well as opening up to people I felt safe with) and realised I'd been capturing people's emotions and stories for years. I remember working with a company who was helping ex-convicts with their lives post-prison release and the tears of one old man when he realised he was being fully listened to and seen (via our sketched work) during one of the work sessions.
As children, drawing is an intrinsic tool for us to connect with our outer worlds, to communicate our fears and joys and to develop our cognitive and motor skills. So why is this practice discouraged and stopped once we reach a certain age? We're encourage to 'write a journal' but not 'draw how we're feeling'.
I started visualising my thoughts and feelings a couple of years back (you can view the visuals on see my Instagram account @sketchfeels (below image)
and realised the clarity and lightness it provides once the images are reflected on. If you're feeling anxious or down of late, I recommend purchasing a sketchbook, start tapping into how you feel and expressing yourself by sketching with rough lines or shapes or colours.
There's no drawing standards to be had here or judgement, it's just a space for you to practice and express yourself! Let me know how you get on!