Graphic design isn’t the first medium most artists would go to in order to express mental illness or emotion. There’s a disconnect when creating something entirely out of geometric shapes on a screen, one that often impedes the expression of a complex emotional range. Sure, there’s infographics a-plenty to explain mental illness, but the results are generally utilitarian rather than artistic.
Still, three different graphic designers have taken up the challenge of digitally expressing the complexity of mental illness. Dani Balenson, Nick Barclay and Patrick Smith have all utilized the popular minimalist aesthetic to provide tidy representations of inherently messy concepts.
It should be noted that whether the illustrations succeed or fail to accurately reflect the realities of having mental illness or experiencing certain emotions is entirely up to the individual.