My name is Race. I have struggled with mental health for as long as I can remember, and like so many other people who deal with mental health issues, my first inclination has always been to hide it. I always figured no one cared, or even worse, people wouldn't like me if they knew how much I struggled. But hiding these issues, only made it worse. So, after nearly 8 years of dealing with depression and battling my own thoughts, I decided once and for all, to address my issues. This was the beginning of HOMS.
I always liked the phrase "wear your heart on your sleeve". It is used to describe a person who is strong, and capable of expressing themselves no matter their surroundings. Someone who is comfortable, in every way, with the person they are. I always thought of myself as someone who represented this phrase, but the more I reflected on it, the more I realized I wasn't very comfortable being my true self. I thought this might be the reason I had struggled for so many years to be happy, struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin. I floated along, going through the motions, until one day, I finally decided I was going to wear my heart on my sleeve. Literally. I bought a 2 pack of heart shaped iron-on patches from a fabric store, and then used my mom’s iron to melt the first one onto the sleeve of a white t-shirt. Then I took the other heart and cut it right down the middle with a pair of scissors, creating a broken heart, ironed it on to another shirt, and HOMS was born.
I chose which shirt to wear (whole heart or broken heart) based on how I was feeling when I woke up that morning. I began to notice a big improvement in my overall mood while wearing the shirts, especially while wearing the broken heart tee. I finally felt comfortable expressing myself, and was no longer afraid of what others might think of me if I was sad or depressed. These shirts gave me an emotional outlet, and this emotional outlet was the reason I started HOMS.
HOMS stands for heart on my sleeve, and it represents a clothing line that was created so that people could express themselves.
My latest project for HOMS is to ask YOU for your help designing a shirt. Using art as a way to communicate how you’re feeling can connect you to those around you when you don’t have the words. I’m hoping many people will contribute their art to this project and then I can select a design to be produced to raise funds for mental health at Seattle Children’s.
Specifically I’m raising money to help Seattle Children’s improve mental health by supporting the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Clinic. The Behavioral Health Crisis Care Clinic offers families an option besides the Emergency Department when their child is having a mental health crisis.
Sometimes you can’t put into words what you can put into a picture.
I learned how I could use art to communicate my feelings to my family and friends.
Can you help me create some new designs that communicate about feelings? Could be happy, or sad, any kinds of feelings.
I can’t wait to see what you create!
To Participate and submit your drawing, 1) use the drawing template in the drop down menu above (below the info section). Once you’ve finished designing, 2) download and sign the creative arts consent form (also in the drop down menu), and email it, along with the drawing, to email@example.com. You can still participate even if you don't want your design to be submitted for consideration of printing!