‘I’m going to throw up’: How I draw my anxiety

Sophie Buck


CN: Anxiety

I did each of these sketches in under 5 minutes, in the midst of feeling very anxious. It was 2am and I couldn’t sleep. The air was prickly and breathless. My stomach floating yet leaden. I can’t pinpoint what had sparkled this feeling – a build-up of things. To work through it, I decided to draw how I felt. Monochrome scribbles felt appropriate.

 

sophie-buck-1

 

I pressed shakily but hard into the page, diffusing tension into it, as I begun to form shapes. Focusing on one thing slowly reduced the hold of anxiety on me. Suddenly, staring back at me from the page, was how I felt. Tangible, it was something more manageable.

 

sophie-buck-2

 

I make art as a kind of mental housekeeping. It’s a way of distilling complex things I’ve seen or felt into things simpler to comprehend. These may be thoughts that’ve grow inside me and are bursting out, or things, like fruits, so intricate my eyes feel compelled to dissect them. In the constant motion of drawing, thoughts can come and go, as I return to the same places on the page, over and over (with a song on repeat). I feel active in working through things, rather than passively being bombarded with undigestible and persistent thoughts.

It’s an extra reward that I can use these visual products to communicate and connect with other people, like in this zine, to say things I don’t know how to say with words. All I know is without art my brain would be (even more of) a mess.”

 

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See more of Sophie’s work on her instagram.

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