The Happiness Project – Dear Hope Premiere

Dear Hope is proud to premier “The Happiness Project” by Zach Cooper. Find the video and a little passage from Zach himself below.

“My inspiration behind this video was to give people a break from all the negativity they constantly see on all social media platforms on a daily basis. It also serves as a friendly reminder that you don’t need to travel the world or spend a ton of money to find happiness in your life. You can find happiness in your daily routine, or with someone you love, or just being in a space you love to be in and I tried to capture that with everyone that was in front of my camera. I also wanted this video to be something you can watch if you’re down and out about life to hopefully bring a smile to your face.

I won’t lie this video came with a lot of different challenges, like finding people to actually film. Countless amounts of people showed interest but we either couldn’t meet up because of scheduling conflicts or for some other reason. Not to mention I ended up moving out of my hometown and had to make new connections and friends to film while this project was already moving along.

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I can’t thank the people that were willing to be a part of this enough. I especially thank the people of New York City that would meet me in random spots throughout the city to film for an hour that had no idea who I was at first but we ended up forming friendships out of this and I love that. Life is moving at an incredibly fast pace and I hope this video slows you down and you take a moment to enjoy it, enjoy where you are and the people who are there with you.

Lastly, I thank Dear Hope and my good friend Paul for listening to this idea in it’s very early stages and having enough patience to let it fully bloom into what it’s become.”

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Leave some comments below for Zach and check out his other work!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF


Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Of Two Minds

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I don’t normally over explain my work as I’m happy for people to find their own meaning. This is a pretty personal piece as it’s a self-portrait.

I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since ’09. Before that, they thought it was depression, and before that, schizophrenia. Since I was correctly diagnosed and got onto the right medication, things have been more manageable. I still have highs and lows, but I’m a bit more balanced.

My psychiatrist has been very supportive of my artwork as it has become a form of therapy for me. Combined with some lifestyle changes (no alcohol, no meat, no excuses), art has made a big difference in my day-to-day life.

“Of Two Minds” is the name of a really good documentary on BPD, and my piece is a nod to that as it helped me in my recovery, too. The piece itself is really a bipolar Venn diagram with the purple face representing mania, the blue face representing depression, and the space where they interlink is where that ever-elusive balance is hiding!

 

 

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The artist, Chris, with his piece

A huge shoutot to Chris Eaton, otherwise known as Stanley Sprays, for sharing his story and this phenomenal piece of art with us. For many, creativity and art can be essential in our recovery. We are so grateful to Chris for sharing that message and showing how art has helped him manage his own struggles.

If you want to see more art from Chris, you can find him on Instagram and his personal website. Chris also has a really fantastic clothing line; you can find that on both Instagram and their website.  Be sure to give lots of love to Chris in the comments!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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A Lens Into Our World dear hope

The Insecurity Project

The idea for my insecurity project stemmed from my realization that most people have something they are insecure about, and that attention being drawn to a personal insecurity for fear of being judged is nothing more than a thought that is hyped up by anxiety. These insecurities can have a large impact on self-esteem and confidence.

I asked my friends to open up to me about what they were most insecure about and happened to find the courage to do so myself. I found that through photography I could capture and highlight these anxieties by pushing comfort levels. I hoped to (1) boost their own confidence and (2) comfort others who may feel the same way.

I have had trouble throughout my teenage years and into my young adult life with self-esteem, spending nights staring at myself until I’m at the brink of tears and want to smash the mirror. Though the project has been slow to get rolling, I hope to inspire at least a couple souls to begin their journey towards self-love and care.

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Emily was self-conscious of her teeth and had trouble smiling. If she found herself smiling with her teeth, she felt that people were just looking at her teeth. She has since found confidence and smiles without any self-doubt.

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Emily
Insecure about her smile

A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Internalization

**Trigger Warning: One of the images depicts blood.**

 

The central idea of my concentration is the expression of the concept of internalization through visual imagery. Under the term internalization, I focused mostly on aspects of life such as mental disorders, personal identity, and trauma. While these can not always be seen outwardly, they are nonetheless pivotally important aspects of life.

I was fascinated with the idea of using abstract elements fused with more realistic ones in order to explore this conceptual theme.

 

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Suspension

A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Dysphoria and Self-Image: an artist’s depiction of struggle and recovery

My name is Claire Frederick. I’m an incoming senior in Painting at Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland, ME. I live in the city with my cat, Glitter, who is my therapy kitty. I have clinical and seasonal depression, an anxiety disorder, sleep issues, and am a recovered self harmer and anorexic.

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Claire Frederick

I have always been someone that tries to handle my mental health on my own; even at my lowest lows I have refused outside help. It wasn’t until I was outside the United States (Italy and Greece) in my worst manic depressive and anxious episode that I realized I needed support from professionals and medication. It was more than situational; it was chemical. It took multiple tries to find the pills that worked for me, but I found them.

Presently, I still have my days, but I am the strongest and happiest I have ever been. As an artist with mental illness and queer identity, it is my mission to spread awareness through visual art by both personal and relatable imagery. To me, it is important for people to understand the vast diversity that mental illness takes form, and that most times it’s not “standard.” Even with all of its idiosyncratic identities, there are others out there that feel like you.

Talking to friends, family, strangers, and or professionals can be so beneficial to find peace of mind. Literally. There are people that want to help and support you, as well as, well as ways to find personal positivity and release the negative. For me, finding an outlet and profession in visual art has saved my life. I am also forever grateful for my support system: my family, girlfriend, friends, and professionals. We all have a reason to believe, to keep moving forward; it’s always out there.

Dysphoria Titlecard

“Disphoria” Artist Statement: The use of line in the exploration of the female figure formally investigates the structure and planar shifts of the body. These lines are formulated in an almost topographical way, and are treated with translucent waves of desaturated color. The earthy, yet bruise-like palette alludes to nature in the same way the body becomes geography. By using wet-on-wet techniques, the paint creates its own forms; the pen is then used to take back control, separating the values and hues. Steering away from the composure of traditional portraiture, I repeat, deconstruct, and reinvent the female figure to achieve an emotional and psychological experience, mimicking feelings of dysphoria associated with my mental illness.

 

Tired Girls Club

Tired Girls Club
Watercolor on 300lb paper
2016

 

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Ghost:
Deconstruction of the Hand
Watercolor on 300lb paper
2016

A Lens Into Our World Artwork dear hope

Free Your Mind

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This beautiful artwork comes from the talented Leandra Luizinho. You can find more of her work on Tumblr and Instagram. Be sure to give Leandra some love in the comments!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

 

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram

 

A Lens Into Our World Artwork dear hope

An Unbreakable Cycle

 

It can sometimes feel like my mind never switches off. I’m constantly jumping from one thought to another in a frenzied stream of consciousness that can make me restless at best and panicked at worst. It’s very hard to distinguish them from each other sometimes. I saw this picture of a fern and it looks like it is in motion even though it’s still, and that really conveyed this feeling for me.

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A Lens Into Our World dear hope