We aim to publish meaningful stories of perseverance amidst mental health struggles.
Growing up in London, in the area I did, with the cultural and ethnic backgrounds that I have, it was never really acceptable to be able to show your emotions the way you would want to. It was always, “be hard, you’re a man - a black man - we don’t show emotion.” That stuck with me for for the longest time. Being told that makes it hard to be able to express yourself the way you think you should, compared to the way that people want you to.
Ultimately, this led me to create this illustration in the way that I have.
The Japanese have a saying that goes, “…you have three faces: the first face, you show to the world; the second you show to your close friends and family; and the third you never show to anyone, for it is the truest reflection of who you are.”
From the first time I ever heard this it stuck with me, and I wanted to translate the sentiment into my own reflection of it, and how it makes me feel.
I wanted to portray all of this in my illustration, and help others - especially black males - to know that having emotions and showing them isn’t something bad.