"An exploration of mental illness and healing- in word and image"

Sophie Notbom

Hi! Welcome to my bachelors project.
“Mental illness and healing- a reflection in word and image” is a kind of visual diary, in which I artistically reflect on my experience with three invisible illnesses, ADHD, depression and chronic pain. It is intended to give non-affected people an insight into everyday life with these struggles and to give affected people an opportunity of identification.

Sophie Notbom

Hey there! My name is Sophie, I'm 21 years old and an interdisciplinary creative. Other than illustrating I also love acting, singing and writing and hope to combine these fields in my professional future.

Overall, inclusion and representation across different fields, such as racial diversity and queerness, are very important to me and will hopefully be a part of any future story or project I work on. As for this project, as well as representing my daily struggle with three invisible illnesses, it also aims at creating a safe space for individuals with similar experiences.

My favorite movies are "Knives Out" and "Return of the King". I love Boygenius, Hozier and Leith Ross. My holy grail artists are Alfonso Mucha and J.C. Leyendecker. I feel safest in nature and most alive in summer. I am proudly queer and neurodivergent and fiercely committed to the power of collective acitivism.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I see myself creating art I'm passionate about and ideally working in multiple artistic fields or having found a way to combine them. I also hope that by 41 I'll have published at least one book and one graphic novel and am frequencing Comic Cons with my art. It is also my goal to have found a sustainable way to work, where I am not constantly experiencing symtoms.

What is a good design for you?

Art for me is all about composition, harmony and purpose. Refer to "Across the Spiderverse" and Alfonso Mucha for literal perfection.

What was the most challenging experience during your studies?

My ADHD and my chronic pain. I frequently ran into issues with motivation and hit my pain barriers a lot, mainly during my internship during which I almost couldn´t move my hand at the end.

Who or what inspires you?

Life. People. Hope. And a lot of different fandoms.

How do you approach a new project?

A lot of thinking, pinterest-boarding and midnight google docs.

What advice would you give to students who just started studying in your programme?

Stay true to yourself and remember that perfection doesn't exist. You're doing what you can and that is what matters.

Have you changed during your studies? How?

I've changed a lot. While I still have a long long way to go, I am now actually caring about myself and now that I know what's "wrong with me", I am not constantly panicking about how to "fix it" but rather learning to live with my differences. I am also not waiting for good things to happen to me anymore, but trying to make them happen.

Why did you choose to study in your programme?

It was actually a really tough choice between this and musical theatre (you got me, I'm a theatre kid. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it). Ultimately though, I love illustration more as a long term job. But like mentioned above, I really want to pursue my other passions as well.

What are you not going to miss in your studies?

I am not going to miss the time I attended my studies virtually. It is so much less fun than in person and exacerbated my struggles. I also won't miss the technical difficulties.

How are you going to celebrate your graduation?

Me and my family are going to eat at a nice restaurant and the day after I'm (probably) going to Pink Inc. Also I'm gonna give myself a month to relax.

Salome Camerati