Hi there, I am a self-taught artist who first picked up a paintbrush after becoming a mom. I built my brand with custom-painted wine glasses and nature-inspired art. Things were escalating rapidly before I experienced my 1st major manic episode.
I am bipolar with a generalized anxiety disorder. I painted a butterfly in the midst of that mania before being diagnosed. After rebounding and finding a regime that worked best for me, I realized how well that painting represents bipolar. How on one side, it is beautiful and inspiring while on the other it is chaos and disaster. I feel it represents all mental illness because we try to show our best and beautiful selves on one side even when we may be crumbling on the other.
I was painting a series of my ‘Bipolar Butterfly’ design when I heard an alarming segment on NPR about mental health with the rise of violence and suicide. There were many terrible statistics but the one I could not get over is that suicide is the #2 cause of death for 10- 34-year-olds. TEN to 34. I have a ten and thirteen-year-old who are genetically pre-dispositioned to struggle with anxiety and depression. I want to change the stigma on mental health for their’s and all future generations. It should be no more awkward to say I am bipolar than it is to say I am diabetic. That the mind, as well as the body, may need medicine.
I want to help end the stigma by creating a visual representation to raise awareness and show community and unity for anyone dealing with mental health. Everyone knows what pink ribbons and rainbows represent. I want to give mental health that power and plaster a series of bipolar butterflies everywhere.