Introducing Lisa-Marie Vecchio , one of our profound artists who speaks about art and psychology.
How does art help you cope with your mental health?
I gravitated towards art as a form of therapy to help me through my own journey with anxiety and depression. I’m an external processor so I feel so much better when I talk, journal and draw about what I’m thinking, feeling and experiencing. There’s a lot of healing that comes not only with birthing a physical, tangible piece of your thoughts but for others to see it and relate to it. I believe everyone has a need to be seen, heard and valued and creating artwork is how I meet that need for myself and others.
Why is creating art about mental health important for you?
It’s important for me for three reasons:
Art therapy for me (Whoo!)
My art uplifting and encouraging others
Opening up conversations around mental health
There’s still some stigma around openly discussing topics like anxiety and depression and I am all about carving out a safe space for it. Visuals play a big part - using bright colours and imagery like hearts and stars can take the sting out of discussing such hard topics. The more you speak up about taboo subjects, the more others are empowered to seek the help and support they need.
What aspect of mental health/mental illness do you focus on in your art?
I focus on topics based around psychology - usually leaning towards writing quotes about how we view ourselves or how we can love ourselves/others well.
A recent artwork I’ve created that reflects this is titled “Have the Courage to Be Disliked”.
The quote is from the title of a popular book that really spoke to me - especially being a chronic people pleaser! I realised that I was becoming increasingly unhappy of constantly pouring into other people to feel loved, yet neglecting my own wants and needs at the same time. It was an unhealthy habit I needed to confront and rewire my thought patterns around. It was quite healing to write out these words - it was the act of giving myself (and others!) permission to be free of other’s opinions and to do what was right for me.
I used the Procreate app on the iPad to create this artwork.