Fenner received a diagnosis of schizophrenia at the age of 17.
As she sought a way to move forward in life, there was a need to find ways to cope with the symptoms of her condition.
That’s when she embraced the idea of art.
Fenner says that she always considered herself an artist.
She just didn’t know what that meant for her life until the mental illness appeared.
Several Different Symptoms Can Occur
The experiences that Fenner has with her condition are variable.
She sometimes hears random noises, hears voices, or sees hallucinations.
One of the most common circumstances involves seeing faces and bugs.
Those hallucinations became the inspiration for her artwork.
It’s a powerful display of raw emotion that shows a side of schizophrenia that we never really get to see.
It’s an eye-opening and honest look at what life is like when you have this condition.
If you have a family member or friend who has a similar diagnosis, then it can give you an idea of what they’re trying to manage every day.
Flies are often found in Fenner’s work.
Then she combines the imagery with specific text messages to communicate how severe the impact of each encounter is on her self-esteem.
It Isn’t Easy to Tell the World Her Problems
Fenner says that she feels the media doesn’t portray mental illness with accuracy so she is choosing her drawing art medium to explain this.
It suggests to someone who hasn’t experience an issue such as this that someone with schizophrenia, depression, or another disorder is lazy, incompetent, or violent.
Although that may be the case for some people, most of the individuals that work through mental illnesses are taking risks to normalize their experiences.
When you see her work in person, there’s one other artist that immediately comes to mind: H.P. Lovecraft.
The imagery and substance of Fenner’s work, especially when displaying the images that don’t involve flies, show how deeply the human mind seeks to cope with its circumstances.
Check out our best colored pencils guide and start sketching.
You can catch up with Fenner’s drawings on Instagram.