Illustrating Mental Illness with a Twist - Gemma Correll

Updated: Mar 14, 2019


Beyond the Numbers

  1. 1/13 people in the world suffer from anxiety

  2. 350 million people suffer from depression

  3. Mental disorders affect 1/4 people

  • These are only three statistics that reveal the prevalence and relevance of mental illnesses. Mental illnesses are not new; they have developed and evolved since the beginning of human existence. However, the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is still there. There continues to be negative attitudes and beliefs surrounding mental health conditions, but Gemma Correll is one artist who is working to shift those paradigms.

Artist Profile

  • Gemma Correll was born in Suffolk, United Kingdom. She is freelance writer, cartoonist, and illustrator known for her simple, charming, and relatable illustrations.

  • Correll has a child-like drawing style with simple graphic designs and bold outlines that are loved and accepted by a wide variety of people.

  • Her drawings depict the countless struggles of mental illnesses, but she does it in such a way that it opens a new discussion and dialogue about mental health. She not only uses her humor and wit to cope with her own anxiety and depression, but also to de-stigmatize society's portrayal of mental illness. People begin to realize that they are not alone in having these negative feelings and how mental illness is more prevalent than people realize.

“I know that I would have felt a little better as an anxiety-ridden teenager if I knew that I wasn’t completely alone in my fears.” ~ Gemma Corell

Sprinkling Light in the Darkness

Humor or comedy is a common yet powerful way in which people cope or deal with daily obstacles. While mental illness is definitely not a topic to laugh about, Gemma Correll's illustrations help bring lightness to a dark place. Based on submissions from around the world, Gemma drew a series of images for spreading awareness about mental health. #mentalillnessfeelslike

  • She also portrayed different types of mental illnesses, including OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), psychosis, and depression. Her illustrations are so simple yet eye-catching that one can understand what she is illustrating even if they have not experienced the illnesses themselves.

While mental illness is portrayed in a negative light, it is nothing to be ashamed of or scared of. If you are suffering from mental illness(es), please find an outlet to express or share your feelings. Whether it be through talking with someone, or writing in a diary, or even creating art. Although mental illness is not beautiful, it is also not a disease. There is still beauty that lies in the person.

What does your #mentalillnessfeeelslike?


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