Sow Ay is a French illustrator who depicts their everyday life to show their audience what it’s like to live with mental illness. As Ay explains, they started these projects because representing his problems visually is much easier than explaining with words—a picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
“I can hide behind my characters and then share it without having to show my face. With time, it also slowly became a way to inform about mental health issues and to remind people that they are not alone and that it is okay to not be okay. I am really happy with that part because I was not expecting it at all,” the artist shared in an interview with Bored Panda.
They have been drawing ever since he can remember, however, after finishing high school, they did not want to study art. They still continued doing what they love the most, drawing. As time went by, their artworks became darker due to their depression and anxiety.
Although they started these illustrations in 2014, they began posting them only one year later.
“Seeing people’s reactions to my drawings is a huge boost and is very inspiring! It reminds me that I am not alone and that what I am doing is useful. It makes me really proud! I never imagined I would be able to help people since I feel like I am broken myself,” he added.
Check out the gallery below if you want to see the illustrations.