How did you get started in making art that empowers people?
In the process of recovery from an eating disorder I began drawing my own body - forcing myself to see my body as art and worthy of appreciation. I did this in the evening, a time I used to spend starring at my naked body feeling hate and repulsion. This new habit directly challenged previous destructive thoughts: by drawing and liking the art I produced I began to appreciate the body that had inspired them. This then progressed to me drawing a diversity of naked bodies accompanied by phrases such as 'there is no such thing as a bad or perfect body' - messages I wish I had heard more when I was younger and maybe could have prevented the illness I experienced. I hope that my art, which is centered around body positivity, mental health awareness and feminism, will empower viewers, helping them to appreciate their worth as unique and special people!
What do you do for self-care?
For me, the self-care I practice varies. Sometimes drawing provides me with a space to process and relax, but this is dependent on how I am feeling. A constant form of self-care I practice is a gratitude journal; before I sleep each evening I write at least one thing that I was grateful for during the day, I make sure to allow myself to say anything - e.g. that someone/something made me smile or that it was sunny, so that on days where maybe I don't feel too good, there is always something I can think of to be grateful for. Finally, my self-care consists of an attitude I am working towards adopting fully; that my happiness is something I have a right to prioritize, free from guilt. This could be in situations where I feel overwhelmed by university work and need to remind myself that a mark on an essay is not anywhere near as important as my general well-being!