We’re thrilled to feature work from self-taught artist Natashya Jacob
to highlight Mental Health Month
Hello, I’m Natashya Jacob, a self-taught painter based out of Chicago, IL. I’ve always appreciated visual arts, and with the extra time inside during the pandemic, I really reconnected with my love of painting. I mainly use watercolors but enjoy experimenting with oil and acrylic mediums as well. I’m drawn to vibrant, contrasting colors and capturing portraits, still-lifes, architecture, and interiors in my pieces. For more of my artwork, process, and inspirations – please check out my Instagram and Etsy shop.
I’m a big advocate for seeking mental health support and consider it a critical element of overall health and well-being. For my final piece I wanted to create something that brings awareness to mental health.
Historically, there is a cultural tendency – particularly in the Southeast Asian community – to have negative attitudes towards mental health and view it as a taboo topic. The background of the painting is influenced by Srilanka’s warm tropical landscape and I chose to use cooler tones for the image of the woman to represent struggles with mental health.
In more recent times there’s been a shift away from the cultural stigma attached to mental health. It’s encouraging to see many countries increasing mental health offerings in their public health systems. There is still, however, lots of work to be done to address the lack of overall understanding and continue to shift from the cultural stigma attached to mental health.