Antique Owl

Beady eyed bird looking for collectables and design stuff

Anxiety strips

Its been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been struggling to manage work and life. But I have been out there, spotting things I love here and there, adding to my instagram feed, taking snapshots of things to look at later; with a view to writing some posts about them.

I noticed that; looking back over the things I’ve screenshotted over the past few months, that there are a few themes. The first (as the title totally gives away) are comic strips or illustrations, mostly based around anxiety and mental health.

Not sure if it’s just the people I’ve been following but (pre-Brexit) it really felt like there was an upsurge in talk, and brilliant open discussion about mental health. I’ve become increasingly aware of some great artists and illustrators who are addressing this in really personal ways, so I thought I’d pick out some of my favourites here for you.

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Gemma Correll is just an exceptional illustrator, and she’s developed a style which has become really commercial and you’re likely to have at least laughed at one of her greetings cards cards even if you haven’t managed to send one. She’s really versatile, very popular and that is totally great for her.

Anyway, a lot of her work touches on dealing with anxiety, and she’s done a lot of work on behalf of charities too.

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I also can’t talk about Gemma without including this image she recently posted to her instagram, because, well… because Crabalanche is genuinely one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, and I giggled for ages after seeing this:

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Find out more about Gemma on her website here, and on Instagram here.

I was lucky enough to buy an original drawing by Gemma back in the day (It’s captioned “Doris has 2,973 facebook friends” and you can find it here. It set me back £45 at a time when I had no money, around the time of the last recession, but it made me laugh, and  it was totally worth it) .

Next up is an illustrator I discovered this week, and who I don’t know anything about, but I saw this on Instagram and it spoke to me…

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It’s by @lord_birthday and very deftly exposes what I believe is known as catastrophizing in therapy terms – something I suffer a lot with. I’m sorry I can’t provide more background, but you will find this male or female person on Instagram here, alternatively s/he appears to have a big cartel site where you can buy stuff here.

The next is an absolute favourite of mine.

Years ago I wanted to be a music journalist, and I spent some time in a small music PR company. Part of what I did was sending out LOADS of albums to various journos hoping they would review them (one such album was the amazing YoYoYoYoYo by Spank Rock).

I knew this guy then as James Jam, and he worked at the NME (literally the coolest). He’s now the editor at Kerrang.


I just *get* his comics, which he is currently publishing daily under the moniker “My So Called Strife”


I’ve inadvertently chosen two Sundays but anyway. You get my drift. Mr. James Jam McMahon’s twitter is here – follow. I promise you won’t regret it.


I’m ending with an artwork which is so evocative; that I really feel it doesn’t need any explanation. But here I am, givin’ it anyway!

I’ve followed Charlotte Mei for a long time now, and have always admired her work, but I really feel like this piece just takes it up a notch. Part Matisse, part anime, something mediterranean about it; that shade of pink is always a winner for me. I think there’s something in the composition which is completely descriptive about what it feels like to be depressed/lost/hopeless/tired/small.

But at the same time so absolutely beautiful.

Charlotte just appears to be one of those people who is incredibly talented and ambidextrous, she works in ceramic as well. I can’t recommend enough that you follow Charlotte on Instagram here and her website/shop are awesome (I hope to buy something soon… checks husband isn’t reading over shoulder*)

I’m genuinely interested in what other artists/illustrators you’re currently following in this area, please do let me know!




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This entry was posted on July 2, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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All copy on this blog remains the property of Samantha Villis. Please ask permission copying or re-blogging. I dont bite. Images are my own unless otherwise stated. I try to give credit for images whenever possible.
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