Today, On Alien Monster: Opening A Conversation About Art and Mental Illness
As some of you know, I feel a special connection to chronic depression and bipolar disorder. Multiple members of my family, my husband’s family, and several of our close friends and have struggled to get diagnosed, find and maintain treatment.
Each persons path and experience has been different – but one theme seems consistent: the level of frustration sufferers feel when no one (not loved ones, not doctors, sometimes not even themselves) seems to quite understand what’s going on in your head.
One of those friends recently found an outlet for that frustration: simple line drawings and text, penciled on sheet of copy paper. One at a time, scans of the comics found their way to my inbox, always with the disclaimer that “I’m no artist”.
I beg to differ.
Though simple in execution (artsy-pants experts would call it “primitive” or “outsider”) these comics represent one of the most powerful aspects of art in any medium – communicating difficult concepts and emotions in a clear and enlightening way.
Without further ado – let me introduce you to AM – the manic, depressed, angry, frustrated, and artful Alien Monster.
Well… Will You?
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be randomly publishing more of I.M.Bipolar’s strips, so stay tuned, and we’ll see if we can’t get a real conversation going here.
Meahwhile? It’s a Commenting Alien Monster Bonus!
The artist is unconvinced that these are worth putting out into the world, believing no one will relate, that no one will understand. I’m convinced otherwise, and I’d love for you to let them know they are not alone.
So if you or a loved one has a history with mental illness, please chime in with a comment — I’ll give you your very own tiny Alien Monster for your trouble!
And If you talk about your experience with art as a healing or communication tool? You get double Alien Monsters!
p.s. comments are currently on moderation,
so be a wee bit patient with me, please.