Kate was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 17. Now, about a year later, she's learned how to utilize her creativity as an artist to cope with the disorder. As Kate says on BoredPanda; "I have always been an ‘artist’, I just didn’t realize what that meant until my mental illness appeared."
Kate's schizophrenia expresses itself in noises, such as voices or different sound effects, and visual hallucinations. These visions often take the form of insects, faces, and eyes. Drawing, she says, helps her deal with this overwhelming experience.
It hasn't been an easy road for Kate. She is also dealing with depression, paranoia, anxiety and other intense emotions. The bugs she draws symbolize feelings of worthlessness that arise due to her depression.
The voices she hears often tell her to do things, like set things on fire:
And, like many adolescents, she sometimes struggles with low self-esteem:
Some of her drawings are dark and unsettling, while others are more mystical and ethereal.
Kate says that the disembodied eyes "surface in mounds or masses on [her] walls or floors. They warp and move."
Her hallucinations even effect what she sees in the mirror. Below is a self portrait:
Everyone who has schizophrenia experiences it differently, as Kate reveals to BoredPanda:
"What I live with isn’t easy and it can be debilitating, but I’m not living out on the streets screaming about alien abductions. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who are that severe – there are. However, there are also people like me who just stay at home most of the time cooped up in their room. It is a spectrum of symptoms with varying severity levels. Each person’s experience is unique."
Kate experiences her fair share of disturbing images regularly, capturing their essence with her distinct style and impressive artistic aptitude.
"This one crawls out of the vent in my ceiling and makes clicking noises, or I’ll see it crawl out from underneath things."
But, again, not all her hallucinations are fearsome.
"This is Birdie, she sings to me"
We commend Kate for her courage in coming forward about her situation and for sharing her amazing art with the world. In being so transparent about her situation, she may be able to inspire those who feel lonely and different, or others who suffer from mental illness. We hope her art shows people experiencing similar struggles that they are not alone.
Thank you, Kate!
Be sure to check out her instagram. Or, if you'd like to contact her, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Which of Kate's illustrations are your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.