I’ve had depression for around five years and it was only in 2016 that I was diagnosed with bipolar II. I’ve received treatment ever since then and I’m currently in partial remission. I’m still trying to learn how to handle my thoughts but changing one’s view of the world is not something that can be done in a single night for people with mental illness–it is something you have to work at constantly and patiently for years. For me, being a medical student also adds to the problem.
The past year of medical school has been stressful for me. I was ready to give up and fail the rotation. I felt empty and I didn’t know what to do. I had lost the idea of who I was, figuring that depression had bereaved me of it. So I revisited an old TV show I used to love when I was in high school, Doctor Who. I thought maybe it’ll help me remember who I am.
It’s been a few years since I stopped drawing due to medical school and mental illness. I came back to the art world after a year of medications, feeling calm and confident enough to start a drawing and finish it. I’ve made several colored pictures afterwards (usually I just sketch), and I’m happy to learn more about how to make a good picture. I’ve been reading tutorials and James Gurney’s book Color and Light, and I want nothing more than to learn as much as I can. I have this silly ambition to have the skill to create, though I don’t know what use it’ll have for me.
Since I watched the latest series of BBC sci-fi TV show Doctor Who last year, I was inspired to draw The Doctor and Clara Oswald. Thank goodness, these amazing characters written by Steven Moffat made me start drawing again. The big fandom of Doctor Who also helps in terms of support.
And there’s this thing I’ve discovered: I draw very, very slowly. Ten years ago it used to take me around 2 hours to make a single drawing. Now I don’t get satisfied with a drawing when I do it in one sitting. Maybe I just need to get used to drawing again. Or maybe med school has made me so tired that I can’t finish something immediately, I don’t know. God knows how many days I have spent for the drawing above!