Art is a healthy means of communication that can identify one’s emotions when words are too difficult to express. In the form of autobiographical comic books, I explore various psychological conditions, providing a visual representation of the feelings of individuals with mental illness. My art incorporates symbolical elements and metaphors along with high contrasting warm and cool colors to signify emotion through a mixed media approach.
The overall layout of each piece I create has no definitive structure, and is more of an abstract that reflects my innermost thoughts and feelings – I let my subconscious flow out on to each page and see where it takes me. Each composition I create represents and evokes a sense of “organized chaos” that explores emotions that range from feelings of self-doubt and depression to feelings of mania. My work comes from my desire to help erase the negative stigma that often surrounds these types of conditions. Doing so can enable those who share similar struggles to talk more about their feelings and get the help and support that they need.
My art is guided through thematic elements that represent self-doubt, learning to cope with it, and coming to terms with it. Various elements in my work interact with each other through recurring themes and symbols – almost every page of my comics represents a distinct interpretation of the characters’ psyche, which is far from reality. As the characters learn to separate their anxieties from what’s real, then they can make it back to reality.
I illustrate the conditions I struggle with as individual characters, because I want to emphasize how real these feelings are to myself and many others. I never plan ahead or redo a page when it comes to creating art – I want to embrace mistakes I make, in art and in my life. This process helps me learn to accept my shortcomings by learning to work with them instead of fighting against them.
© 2017 Elizabeth Pritchard