30 Comics About Mental Health That You Might Relate To By Holly Chisholm (New Pics) Interview With Artist
Depression and anxiety can affect anyone, and you deserve help to feel better regardless of who you are. Now more than ever people (especially in their youth) are experiencing mental health difficulties which makes the current statistics pretty alarming, and it doesn’t help that the current pandemic is also adding to the troubles most of us face day-to-day.
Artist Holly Chisholm deals with such topics in her comics. Holly was diagnosed with mental disorders such as depression and ADHD about 5 years ago. Her therapist suggested that she should try keeping a journal to help her cope with her trauma and mental issues. Since she hated writing, she came up with the idea of making comics based on her experiences.
In a previous post she made on Bored Panda a few years ago, she wrote a couple of things about herself.
“My comics cover a variety of topics, like love, depression, self-reflection, and anxiety.
After about 6 months of making comics, I decided to quit my job and freelance part-time so that I could dedicate more time to making and promoting Just Peachy. In the future, I hope to make a book and raise awareness about mental illnesses and my personal struggle with depression.”
First, we asked the artist if she had any major influences in her life that might've helped her to develop and refine her style.
"My major influences were Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame. I grew up reading those comics and always loved how smart and meaningful they were. Another artist that really inspires me is Josh Engel who posts his comics on Instagram. They are very real, very raw, and inspired me to make my own comics."
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce, therefore we asked Holly how long it takes her to fully finish her comics.
"This really varies depending on how distracted I get! I have ADHD so it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, to a couple of weeks. I'm pretty inconsistent."
Being an artist is not easy, one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc, so we wanted to ask Chisholm about her ideas for the comics.
"I often just force myself to sit down with nothing to do and write out comic ideas. Usually they just kind of come to me as I'm out and about. Most of my ideas are based on real-life events or things I've been reading about at the time."
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, therefore we asked the artist how she dealt with that as well.
"All the time, yes. Sometimes even doing one comic is like torture. For me, comics are my own fun hobby, so I try not to pressure myself to be prolific all the time. I just want the comics to be fun for me to do, so I never force it."
We also asked Holly about how people reacted to her work.
"People are shockingly positive and supportive. I've never really had anyone say anything mean on my comics, which I feel like is super rare on the internet. My audience is very wholesome. A lot of people will reach out to me asking for help or thanking me for talking about mental health issues, which is very rewarding for me."
The creative process is not easy, but there are many enjoyable parts about it.
"My favorite part of the creative process is sharing my work, actually. It's really fun to see how people respond to it, and I love seeing people get enjoyment or comfort from my work."
We also asked about the inspiration behind the artist's Instagram account.
"My therapist at the time said I should journal to help get my feelings out, but at the time I wanted to get back into art and drawing so I decided to do comics instead. I also wanted to share the drawings on social media because I feel like mental health is a super important topic that people should be more aware of."
Digital art and art, in general, is not easy and requires a lot of patience, time, resources, and in most cases even money, therefore we wanted to know how the talented comic artist started her own career in digital art.
"I started quite young! I got a Wacom tablet in 2004 for my birthday in order to practice drawing my Neopets! (I was a massive Neopets fan growing up). I had begged my mom for art lessons in the second grade because I wanted to be able to draw cute ladybugs like my friends at school. I like both digital and traditional art and as you can see in my feed, I switch between the two based on my mood and how lazy I'm feeling that day."
Artists tend to get motivated by a lot of things such as curiosity, the search for beauty, or even meaning. Therefore, we asked Holly about that too.
"I am motivated by being able to share ideas with people in a unique way that I think is quite different from traditional art or writing. I love knowing that my work is affecting people's lives. I've had a few people reach out and say I inspired them to get sober, and honestly, that's the best feeling in the world."