One of the things that got me through the pandemic was watching my dear friend Ragni Agarwal make art. Even during the hardest periods of being on lockdown, Ragni Agarwal found a way to see the beauty of any given moment or space. From sharing vibrant color palettes, she discovered in the sunset or a leaf, to painting joyful portraits of women, Ragni emerged from the pandemic as an artist that wasn’t stifled, but rather reborn. She moved from digital art to physical art and took us all along for the ride, openly sharing about the connection between her art and her mental health every step of the way. From her morning art therapy sessions, to her candid insights into her own mental health, watching her heal and create inspired me to do both, too. In October, she has committed to a "daily create" and in the process has found a way to honor not just her art, but also her mental health, through daily acts of self-exploration and expression. I’m proud to not only share a few of her works of art with you, and her insights into mental health.
"Learning to love my beautiful mind even when it feels like a cage. There are days when anxiety (coupled with a fear of triggering a depression) feels like your mind is in a prison. When the struggle to see all the color your mind is capable of feels depleted and you find it hard to appreciate the beauty of your mind as the anxiety takes over and depletes you of your joy reserves. When the littles tasks feel like mountains. And all you want to do is sleep. Then there are days when the fog clears and you see your mind through colorful lenses and the colors come back to you and you’re able to quiet the noise that appreciate this alternate reality. I’m learning to appreciate both sides of this coin. The true healing is not accepting one is better than the other but the beauty of the mind is that it’s capable of both. And how boring it would be in a world when all our minds did the same exact thing." --Ragni Agarwal