Deep in Thought

If you asked me (Sophia) a year ago where I saw myself, I would not have guessed that I would be living in a global pandemic. Having to master the socially distant “smile and wave” instead of shaking hands or giving hugs was a process. Entering into quarantine impacted each individuals’ sense of normalcy to some degree, and it is understandable why many (including myself) struggled to adapt. Luckily, different activities have been beneficial for various aspects of health, acting as outlets to help. Many have turned to artistic expression, and it is incredible to see what everyone has been creating. Listening to stories of resiliency and generosity have also inspiring and uplifting. When the quarantine is over, we will have something to look back and reflect on how we persevered through the pandemic.

Illusive Artworks (Annalee Yerxa) creates original artworks on canvas and clothing inspired by mental health and well-being, intended to help others who may struggle sometimes. They try to help others understand that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay and that everyone needs to make time for their mental well-being, whether you have a mental illness/concern or not. For this reason, they also donate 20% of profits to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Throughout their time in quarantine, Illusive Artworks has been creating lots of pieces about self-reflection and growth, both on canvas and clothing. Recently, they have been doing some digital work.

“I paint as a coping method and it has helped me manage my anxiety since COVID-19.”

The painting is of two figures. On the left is a skeleton, and on the right is a person. They mirror each other and are wearing the same clothing. They both are wearing an orange cardigan, a pink bra, and wearing blue pants that look to be denim. fabric. Each of their hands are folded together. The skeleton is looking towards the person and the person is looking away from the skeleton. The person has shoulder-length, white/silver hair. They look uncomfortable as the skeleton stares at them - their shoulders are slightly hunched over. A strand of hair covers the person's eye. Their pink lips form a stoic line across their face. Where the skeleton and person sit, paint drips to the bottom of the canvas. The textured background is a charcoal colour with orange undertones.
“Look at Yourself”

For these paintings, Illusive Artworks explained that they took inspiration from personal experiences and mental health issues.

The painting is of a person posing, but the perspective is from the chest up. the person's arm is visible and rests on a small portion of their knee that is visible. The person is not clothed, but there is no explicit nudity in the painting. the painting of the person is outlined in black paint, with certain areas shaded and highlighted to accentuate the person's collarbones, arms, and chest area. We can see the person's jawline and the beginning of their ear, but the rest of the head is covered in bright pink flowers with magenta undertones. The flowers vary in size, and some of the pink paint drips to the bottom of the canvas. The background is a horizontal gradient of navy to light blue. The background is navy where the majority of the figure is placed, but as you move from left to right, it goes to a lighter shades of blue.
“Floral Distraction”

To see more of Illusive Artworks’ creations, you can follow them on Instagram: @illusive_artworks or visit their page on Etsy: http://etsy.com/ca/shop/illusiveartworks

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