Never Give In: Artist Exclusive With Kallie Norris

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Kallie, 19, shares how gaming helps with her anxiety and mental health.

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 Kallie, a 19-year-old artist who was part of the project.

How has gaming affected your mental health? 

For me, gaming has always been an escape from the real world, and I often use gaming to help with my anxiety and overall mental health. Video games help me to relax and detach myself from reality, and I specifically play a lot of smaller indie games with gentle themes, soundtracks and art in order to calm my general nerves.

Games like Life is Strange, Telltale’s The Walking Dead and Gone Home have all managed to immerse me in their respective universes and have helped me to feel more secure in myself and general life as I have been able to care about and relate to the characters. Through many games I have also made friends and connections, joining several communities. As an introvert and someone who does suffer from mental health, this is very important and meaningful for me. I have previously done lots of fanart for video games expressing my love for them.

What inspired you to create this artwork? 

My piece is titled ‘Cultivate your Thoughts’ and is inspired by the idea that your mind is a garden and needs to be tended to in order to grow and flourish. For me, video games help my mind to flourish by giving me a creative outlet and a safe space to relax and ease my anxiety which has helped my general mental health a lot.

For my piece, I chose to paint a self-portrait in order to illustrate the benefits that video games have on my personal mental health. I also chose to go with a warm colour palette in order to show a sense of comfort and homeliness. I also used acrylic paints and bright, bold colours to add to the emotional effect of the piece.

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

My message to those struggling with their mental health is to take care of themselves. Find things you enjoy, spend time doing the things you love, and spend time with your favourite people. Some days will be hard and some days will be good. Look after yourself and have days where you do nothing at all. Everybody operates at a different pace so don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t the same as other people.

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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