“Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” -Unknown
Learning and coping about mental health illnesses has been a big part of my life since I was 12 years old. I’ve known for a very long time that there’s always been something off about my mental health behavior since I was very young, younger than the age of 12 when I became aware. I started expressing my feelings through my art when I was about 14 years old, a freshman in highschool, the themes I used and techniques I executed showed I had a passion for erasing the stigma around mental health illnesses.
My first piece that we have is my “Loss of an Innocent” painting. What most people don’t know about me is that I have been through some trauma over my childhood and adolescence, which made me believe I had to process life differently than other children who had a “better childhood” than I did. I lost a part of my childhood because of this trauma, hence why it’s a painting of me wearing the veil, and why just by painting one eye how much suffering there is in it. In my younger days I was diagnosed with anxiety, it became part of my daily routine. Hence why I used such a discomforting background, almost if the energy around you was such a higher vibration than you were making your surroundings unstable always, which is why I chose the combination of the yellow and red, to represent anxiety.
The two sculptures, “Tied down” and “I don’t know who I am,’’ have the same concept but different meanings. Both of these pieces have an anonymity to them just how you could never tell who has a certain disorder. “Tied Down” is the bipolar side, where sometimes you are debilitated from life and sometimes succumbing to your emotions, letting it control your life. “I Don’t Know Who I Am” represents the borderline personality disorder and being debilitated by the different emotions and chronic feeling of emptiness, hence the hole, representing something that is missing. The colors that are tied arounds its arms all represent different emotions, happy, sad, malcontent, upset, excited and depressed. All these emotions make up the disorder.
“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” is a self portrait study which is a play on the word beauty. Beauty in itself is subjective to the beholder, we make what beauty is. Struggling with my self image has been a weight on my shoulders since I was a child. This represents what I truly see in myself, and I think that’s beautiful.
A series I had practiced earlier in my studies was trying to see how mood and music could respond to color. These three pieces were made in different moods and exacerbated with a song reflecting that mood. The colors and strokes are reckless but have a controlled placing and composition. Each color was carefully chosen to represent a sound or lyric and translated into color. This experience was extremely therapeutic, making it an escape from the disorder that I suffer from.
Everything that I do in my artwork has a deep meaning. I try to make it as personal as possible to gain further insight of my emotions and what I want the world to see on how this affects my life from day to day.
1. Marisol Martinez, Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder , 2020, (Oil on canvas), 16 x 20 inches
2. Marisol Martinez, Synesthesia Study 1 , 2020, (Acrylic on canvas), 12 x 14 inches
3. Marisol Martinez, Synesthesia Study 2 , 2020, (Acrylic on canvas), 12 x 14 inches
4. Marisol Martinez, Synesthesia Study 3 , 2020, (Acrylic on canvas), 12 x 14 inches
5. Marisol Martinez, I Don’t Know Who I Am , 2020, (Mixed media), 6 inches tall
6. Marisol Martinez, Tied down , 2020, (Mixed media), 6 inches tall
7. Marisol Martinez, Loss of an Innocent , 2020, (Oil on canvas), 16 x 24 inches