Never Give In: Artist Exclusive With Jordan Alexandra Smith

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24-year-old Jordan shares how gaming has made her feel part of something big.

This article is part of the Never Give In campaign, where 21 young Cardiffians were commissioned to create a piece of art showing how gaming affects their mental health. This is the story of Jordan, a 24-year-old artist who was part of the project.

How has gaming affected your mental health? 

Gaming has always been a creative and mental escape for me.  

When I was younger it made me closer to my friends, as it was their hobby too and it made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than the four walls in my room.  

As I have gotten older, the pressures of adult life constantly weigh me down and always strain my mental health. I worry all the time about personal problems, economical, family…all sorts. Gaming brings in all my problems and throws them away. I forget why I was anxious or angry and all I feel is enjoyment and pure pleasure when playing games. It brings me closer to understanding who I want to be and it keeps me close to all my friends.  

I am a massive extrovert and with the world being on fire due to the pandemic, I haven’t been able to meet my friends in person as much. With gaming, I just hop into a discord call with them and play throughout the whole day with them – forgetting time and just enjoying life. My partner is an avid gamer as well and it makes me so happy that we get to share this experience with each other, any time of the day. It makes both of us stronger and more united against our personal demons.

What inspired you to create this artwork? 

Whilst creating the art, the colours, characters, and the whole idea for my artwork changed multiple times until I came to the final idea.

Personal matters arose during the design process and so sacrifices had to be made when I came to the final piece. I did end up giving the final piece every effort I physically could to be able to create something I was happy with. The original piece would have been more rewarding but this one is still great.

I wanted to create a piece that shows how one may need help from their favourite game character, who could provide emotional support and a boost for their self-esteem and mental health. The artwork was made to convey that you can be as mighty as your favourite character. For me, my favourite is Link from The Legend of Zelda series.

I decided to document my entire thought process, ideas and choices into a PDF file which explains more about my thoughts and ideas.

What message would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health?

Even when times get tough, you MUST prevail. You owe it to yourself to see this through and to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. You mean more to people than you realise and your mental health may be stopping you from allowing them to help. “

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present” –

Master Oogway (Kung Fu Panda)

To find out more about the Never Give In campaign and see the incredible artwork from all of the other artists, click HERE.

Struggling with your mental health? Check out TheSprout’s Mental Health Information Page where you can find loads of local and national support services.

If you’re sharing our posts from the Never Give In campaign on social media, remember to use the #PositiveMentalGaming hashtag. Feel free to tag us so we can see what you’re sharing!

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