Catherine Hood is a Level 6 Illustration Student who created an illustrated guide to mindful exercises.

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Human minds are easily distracted.

Often we are either worrying about the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness is about concentrating on the now.

Mindfulness gives you a space in the present moment to deal with your anxieties and worries, so you are better abled to deal with stressful or difficult situations.’

During my final year at University, I created an illustrated guide to introducing mindfulness exercises into your everyday life.

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Mindfulness is a type of therapy which teaches you to take a moment out of worrying for the future or past and to just be aware of what is occurring in the present, specifically your internal and external experiences. For example, the sensations on your body or the sounds around you.

By focusing on the present, a more considered, calm approach to everyday difficulties and stresses is developed, and this creates a better quality of life.

I became interested in mindfulness and started practicing the therapy myself as a way to handle the stress of deadlines and University. I am very passionate about raising awareness for mental health, to erase the stigma attached to it, and for mental health to be treated as equal to physical health. I believe that an individual’s mental wellbeing should be as well considered and cared for as their physical fitness, and in this guide I wished to give the reader an easy and helpful way to fit mindfulness into their everyday lives.

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Whilst I think mental health is a subject which should be taken and treated seriously, I didn’t want to run the risk of alienating my audience. It is important to me that whilst my work looks at serious and worthwhile subjects that I am passionate about, I treat the subject matter playfully and positively, in a manner which invites and welcomes the audience. I enjoy the challenge of communicating complex processes as simply as possible, which I feel I achieved in this project.

I create my work using a mixture of hand drawn and digital methods. I start by drawing quickly with a soft pencil, or cutting out shapes from paper with scissors, before scanning the image onto my computer and recreating the shapes through Adobe Illustrator. I then add hand drawn textures on Photoshop.

body-scan-photo Within this project, I learnt of my interest in the human condition. This inspired me to look at other subjects surrounding mental wellbeing, such as loneliness. In the future, I wish to develop this project further, potentially into a more narrative led picture book series for children.sensations

Find more of Catherines work here –

Website – catherinehoodillustration.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/c.hoodillustration/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/catherinehoodillustration/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CatherineHood21