The Elephant in the Room & the Old Hag in the Closet - by Keith Raythorn
We're very proud and delighted to share with you some fantastic drawings from a friend and an absolute legend, Keith Raythorn. Keith digged our message at BPB, not only in the sense of creating mental health awareness but also in promoting creativity as a coping mechanism or medium of communication for mental illness and decided to get in touch about some sick drawings he had used as therapy and actualising emotions when he himself was going through some nasty head wobbles. We've turned some of Keith's drawings into fresh as cream garments of which all profits will be donated to PIETA HOUSE. (legend Keitho!)
// We'll let Keith do the talking
I initially got into sketching and drawing at a young age as a way to get what I thought were cool images in my head down on paper, but it was only really in recent years when I myself experienced some ‘head wobbles’ I found sketching and drawing to be a really positive experience for inner expression and a massive emotional release.
I was living abroad for a while and it was there where I drew the selection of sketches you see here on the site and it was only really when I returned home I realised these images actually meant a lot more than I originally thought. I hadn’t fully understood what I was dealing with at the time. Yeah the sketches are a bit out there design wise but to me, each one has its own individual meaning of what it represents and expresses.
At the time, anxiety and depression felt very surreal to me. To be walking around every day and trying to do the basics, like commute around, work and socialise and all these basic things were so hard when you have a massive black cloud of stress and anxiety floating around in your brain and always showering on any positive thoughts that were trying to sprout up. It was only really when I would confront these feelings head on through art and music that I learnt to deal with them and overcome them. A lot was to do with close family and friends too but on an individual level it was the expressional outlets that got me by and still do to this day. People really shouldn't underestimate the power of the arts when it comes to helping with their own head wobbles.
For instance, the sketch of the Alien wanderer really in a way is a kind of self-portrait, I had just moved to a new country and wasn't really feeling myself, a bit alone and isolated with these negative thoughts swirling around me every day, completely alienated from the present moment and my surroundings. The elephant sketch is literally me realising eventually there was a massive ugly elephant in the room (my head) which I just wouldn't address, a representation of what I was ignoring, my mental well-being.
The cat you see above is the feeling I constantly had on my shoulder. The cat sitting there judging me all the time; convincing me I was over-exaggerating and a dope for feeling like I was. The same goes for the Ol’hag sketch. This is a representation of your stereotypical Irish old timer opinion that any sort of negative or weighing feeling you have in your head should be left well alone and that ‘you'll be grand’ in time.
The final Sketch off the puzzle piece is a representation of that certain something I was missing. The final piece of my puzzle to help me out was discovering that talking with others openly about how you feel, be it a good friend or family member was the best help I could get and eventually lead me out of the muddled head space I was in to the good place I was in today
Kick your elephants out of the way and go look for that puzzle piece and rest assured there will be many there to help you along the way.