Artist illustrates various mental illnesses in awareness effort


Related Articles

We all have our own inner monsters we deal with — the emotional challenges we struggle to overcome day to day. For some, these monsters affect multiple aspects of their lives and are diagnosable mental disorders. Cornish artist Toby Allen chose to depict different types of them in his "Real Monsters" project as a way to encourage people to think about these conditions in a different way. 

Allen — who spoke to Suvudu about his own lifelong struggle with general anxiety and social anxiety — first began designing the Anxiety monster for his own cathartic purposes. He then started researching various conditions extensively and sketching concepts, aiming to create an illustration for each that reflected different elements of the disorder.

For example, he told Suvudu, "looking at the Anxiety monster in particular, the dark colors reflect the heavy and oppressive feelings that I associate with being anxious, and the shock of bright pink represents the intense rush of fear or anxiety that occurs when I have an anxiety-related panic attack."

He first sketches these creatures before creating the final designs digitally. Prints are available on Society6.com for $18.

Allen emphasizes on his website that his artwork is not meant to make light of these conditions but "instead is intended to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more manageable as physical entities."

Check out some of his monsters below, and visit his website to see them all.