A few months ago, 35-year-old Tori Press started to draw illustrations as a way to work through some of the lessons she was learning through yoga and meditation. The retired graphic designer hoped it would be a way "to cultivate more mindfulness, gratitude, and joy" in her daily life.
"Everything I draw is a message I myself am working to receive and internalize," she told A Plus. "I actually am not a very Zen kind of person; I'm anxious and perfectionistic and not laid back at all, and I'm working to make peace with myself just as I am. That journey is what my drawings are about."
Press may be creating the drawings for herself, but take one look at her Instagram and you might just start to feel better about some of your own issues. Her illustrations touch on topics such as insecurity, anxiety, and learning to practice self-love.
"Many of my comics are part [of] a conscious effort to acknowledge and share my own vulnerability, in the hopes that I can normalize my own very human struggles, and maybe help someone else realize just how wonderfully normal and human they are, too," she said.
Through creating and sharing her artwork, Press has learned that many of the things about herself she thought were weird or shameful are actually relatable to many others.
"We all have a tendency, especially in the age of social media, to reveal only the best parts of ourselves to each other. It makes it easy to forget that everyone around you is a human being facing some challenge in life, whether they reveal it on Facebook or not," she said. "When I started posting these vulnerable drawings, I received a flood of messages saying 'I'm this way, too.' It was really incredible to me. I've learned that to be a human being means struggling — in some way or another, with one thing or another — and that when you share your struggles with others, you're suddenly no longer struggling alone."
By sharing her illustrations online, Press hopes to help others feel more comfortable in their own skin.
"I hope people feel the same thing I feel when they comment on my work — that they are not alone in this world, that we're all under a big umbrella of humanity, and that we have more similarities than differences. I feel so much lighter and freer knowing I'm alone in all my human imperfections, and I hope my work brings other people that same feeling."
You can check some of Press's illustrations and captions below. They might inspire you to start using art as a creative outlet of your own.