some of my art work title image

Some of my artwork

So, I stated in this post about how art can be therapeutic and how it can help with recovery. Well, I’ve loved to draw for years. I even tried to do an art course. However, I never finished it but that doesn’t get me down because I like doing it in my spare time anyway. I thought I’d start showcasing some of my artwork in a series of posts for you. It’ll also give you insight into how I’m working towards my recovery alone.

So what’s this series about?

I guess I should show how I’ve evolved over the years. So kicking this series off will be me showing this. I’m self-taught so I’m not great but I think I’m adapting into my own ‘style’ I guess.

Older artwork

So, I had been drawing for years. When I was about in primary school I’d do the usual, draw pokemon, Simpsons some Mario etc. People asked me to draw for them and I did. I never had my ‘own style’ as such though. This did change when I went into comprehensive school and became obsessed with manga and anime. I started to learn how to draw in the manga style.

I made my dad buy the help books on manga, on drawing anything in general. I was adamant I was going to learn. Being self-taught was hard. For me, understanding the concepts of distance, poses etc was pretty hard in general. My style at that time was only just beginning.

art work older 1







These two were from when I was about 13/14? I started learning and tried to develop my own style. The hair is pretty cringing and so are the eyes but at the time I thought it was pretty good. I had used my manga books as reference for the poses but the rest was all me.

I found it kind of fun and quirky and looking at them now, they’re not too bad. They’re pretty decent really for an amateur.


A few years after, I started venturing out and drawing other things and improving my own style. As you can see I started drawing stuff like the muppets I even tried drawing animals and.. well, that didn’t work out so I stick to people. (Even now)

I think that animal’s face turned out pretty well, the body not so much, however, I was getting on pretty well with learning the faces and the looks…



This is one I did when I was about 18/19 on a plane trip to Cyprus. I think that’s when I started really developing my own style. I started understanding how to make the character look remotely human. Being stuck on a plane

I still kind of suck at hands even now. I do believe this was around the time of the one below as I’d learned little details I could add to my drawings thanks to my art course I started (then bailed).

Generally, a happy picture even for me at the time which is quite a nice surprise. I genuinely forgot I had done this. The dress was based on one I actually had back then so I ventured out and based things on more real items rather than just manga books…


Below is one I did back in an art course I did, to be honest, I only started it, I never even finished this piece. I was obsessed with Tennant’s doctor in Doctor who so made a house for this street we were doing with him, Daleks, adipose and a mini-me on the roof.

The house itself looks terrible but I quite liked the characters, the poses and how ‘fun’ it looks. Again, something foreign to me when I felt so rotten back during that time.

It’s in full size because in medium you can’t see the characters much.

Newer artwork

So, in recent years, I ignored art for a while but in the last year, I’ve really started getting into it again. I’ve been practising with Dragonball Z characters and then moving on to improving my own style. You may have already seen the first one however, I thought it’s worth sharing it again so you get a gist on how I have improved over the years.

I still use manga books as pose references because it is darn hard without them to figure out how to put a pose together properly.


art piece of mental illness
“I feel I’ve lost myself”

The one below I did for my husband, I was kind of proud of it to be honest as silly as it sounds. It’s not as recent as my other two but it was my first drawing in ages so I thought I’d share this one in full because a lot of effort went into it.

He actually loved it and it was a valentines day card I did for him when we first got together. I might try and do something similar to this again someday.

How I’ve learned to draw

So, how have I learned how to draw? Well, like I said previously it was mainly by reading books and practising.

I had a few manga how-to books growing up but lost them. I have recently rebought the main one my dad got me because it has some good tips in it. It’s called the Monster book of manga and you can buy this one here. I can’t remember what the other ones were but we did use to buy them from The Works bookstores. They were in a bit more of a cartoon manga style like my first pictures.

However, the manga series I used for poses was Love Hina, I had four of the volumes growing up and read them to death. However, it was always full of fun and interesting poses I’d like to incorporate into my pieces and comics I’d draw. It really did help me improve because I’d be doing some repeatedly and working on my style as I went along.

Practise makes perfect though. I’m nowhere near great now. I’m only scraping ‘okay’. However, that’s fine because I’m finding my own style form from all of this.

Final thoughts

Whilst, I’ve been kind of critical about my drawings. They’re okay. They’re my works of art and that’s all that matters is that I ‘like’ them. Art is therapeutic I guess its why I’ve always leaned on it for an escape. Drawing stuff I wanted. Drawing happy things and drawing my feelings.

It doesn’t matter what your artwork looks like as long as you like it. It doesn’t even matter if its a traditional drawing or random shapes. It’s your work and it means something to you.

Again, today’s post may be a little lack-lustre but my wrist is in agony and I’ve been having a few down days with my mind if I’m honest. I do apologise for this. Hopefully, you guys appreciate my honesty here. Things will be back to normal with the writing soon!

So, what do you guys like to draw? Have you got your own ‘style’?

If you like what you have read here today, or maybe it’s resonated with you then please hit the subscribe button on the sidebar or the follow button below so you can get notified of all new posts.

– Gem

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Hi! I'm Gemma, a mental health and recovery journey blogger! My blog focuses on the effects of mental illness and the entire recovery process.

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