Hi! I’m Bear.
I’m 21 years old and live in the Netherlands.
Ever since I was really young, I always loved to be creative, drawing, painting, making bracelets or using glitter-glue to make everything sparkle. As I grew older, I found myself more interested in drawing and writing, stories and idea’s came to life on paper. As for now I’m doing a bit of all, the drawing, the painting, collages in one of my journals and occasionally a poem or piece of writing. Being creative has always been such an amazing outlet for me and I could not imagine life without it.
About my art
When I was 12 years old my best friend passed away. The grief that washed over me was something bigger than I’d ever experienced. It was sadness, but so much more than that. In the years following I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, and later on also with Borderline Personality Disorder. Each day was a battle, not only with the people around me. But mostly with myself.
I’m not the one who’s here to sugarcoat the story, who’s here to tell you it got all better and that it’s all fairytales and sunshine now. Living with a mental illness is hard.
And that’s why I started my first art-journal. Because life was hard. Everything felt so intense, so overwhelming, there were parts of me that I failed to understand, feelings I could not place or identify. All I had were these phrases in my head – things I felt, or thought about, words I kept repeating to myself and could not let go.
I wrote them down. I wrote them down and made art with them. Ugly, raw collages that expressed exactly that what I could not convey in real life. In real life I felt vulnerable and afraid, but on the paper I was free. Making these collages has helped me enormously in the past few years. (Started my first journal end 2017, still doing it in 2021)
After a while I started scanning my collages and posting them on Tumblr, and later also on Instagram, where I got overwhelmed with the support. People from all over the world recognized themselves in my art. There where I often felt like I was alone in my struggle I found there were so many more who felt or thought like me. And they felt the same. For many my art was a way for them to feel understood, heard or connected. <3
I hope to one day, with my art, or with my words, be able to help this world create a safer space for the mentally ill. I wish for more understanding, listening, and connecting. Living with mental illness is hard, but there is so much room for growth. And that’s not sugarcoating, it’s simply true.