Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work
I am a freelance Illustrator. I studied Illustration at Sheridan college. My work takes me many exciting places such as children’s publishing, editorial and advertising. I also own my own business where I paint watercolour animals and create educational print products for babies and children.
How is your personality reflected in your work?
My work ranges from deep and moody to naturalistic and cheery. It’s difficult for me to see everything I create as one entity. In a beautiful way, that is my personality. Sometimes I’m edgy and interpersonal, while other times I can be easy going and silly. These different personality traits shows up in the versatility of my work.
Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work
I am always on the pursuit of representing diversity, equality, feminism and LBGTQIA topics. I also pursue mental health awareness within my work. I find that illustrating my journey with mental health and sharing my story through art is healing for me and for others who interact with my art.
What do you think the role of the artist is in society? How can artists raise awareness for mental health?
I believe that an artist helps raise awareness by creating mindful and honest art about mental health. Art is a safe space for talking about mental health and shows others that they are not alone. The role of an artist is to contribute genuinely to the media’s representation of personal wellbeing. An artist has the power to spark a positive conversation and encourage healing and mindful thinking.
How do you cope with days that are overwhelming, frustrating, and otherwise tough? What helps you bounce back?
I pay close attention to my signs and triggers to indicate to me when I need a break. Feeling tired, deflated and defeated is a big sign for me that I need to start actively taking care of myself in order to cope. Taking care of myself includes unplugging from social media, getting outside, yoga, meditation, and art. Channeling my emotions into art helps me make sense of how I am feeling. I find listening to the state of my mind and reacting accordingly, is the best way for me to reenergize so that I can eventually bounce back.
What advice would you give to young aspiring artists – especially if they are living with mental health conditions?
Creating art can come with expectations, such as wanting your work to have a specific style. My advice is to let go of having a style and focus on growing, learning and creating art that interests you. Setting aside the expectations that come with creating art will leave room for focusing on mental health.
Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?
My work is currently touring South America through Amnesty International and raising awareness for Grassy Narrows. I am also exhibiting art in two store fronts and taking my work to various Canadian art shows such as Craftadian. Keep up with my work by following me @illustrationsbyerin and check out my portfolio atwww.illustrationsbyerin.com.