A woodcut related to mental health positivity.

"It's Okay to Not Be Okay"

Woodcut on Thai kozo | 2019

My first personal woodcut after learning the technique in my Printmaking I class. As such, it looks a little rougher than other, newer pieces I’ve created — but going along with the message, I tried to embrace the jankiness of working out my style. Keeping the chatter (the troughs from cutting on the surface, can be removed by cutting them away and creating more depth) lends itself to that, as the background is fairly chaotic and not “okay” in the traditional, clean sense. Additionally, there are pockmarks within the letters which could be anything from skips in cutting to something that adhered itself to the block and thus picked up ink. However, I think it also adds to the character of the piece and reinforces the theme.

Thematically, this piece is one of my favorites in terms of overt activism. Though the image of a brain can be cliché when trying to express concepts relating to the mind, it’s a trope for a reason…plus mental health sort of necessitates having a brain as an image.