Mental health is such a delicate subject. And many of us fight with anxiety or depression every day and you wouldn’t even notice. Disconnect is about how we disconnect from the world outside in order to make it through those rough days when our inner critic is especially harsh. Fighting depression can sometimes manifests itself in explainable sadness, so you wake up and choose to put yourself together for other people. So, when they ask how you’re doing you just say, “I’m Fine” or “I’m Good” and on the outside you are fine. I am inspired by everything around me. My paintings and prints reflect my emotions, my experiences, my beliefs, and the way that I interpret them. The theme in most of my work deal with issues that we as people experience, the way we question ourselves, and the burdens we carry. I love the use of color and being able to recreate the picture the way it is in my mind. I use different mediums to recreate my pictures, such as acrylics, gouache and while I love color I have fallen in love with Lino-cut Print making. I think that it is very important for people with mental health disorders to find a creative outlet whatever that may be to quiet the noise.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mildred Annani Mercado started painting with an old box of oil pastels that her father was going to throw out when she was 14 years old; she asked if she could have them and couldn’t stop. She is Puerto Rican and was born and raised on the south side of Chicago where she lives with her family. Annani is a mixed media Artist, Beekeeper, spoken word Poet, and was a Chef for 26 years. After 12 years of being misdiagnoses, she was properly diagnosed in 2018 with Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease. She took a step away from her art for a little more than 10 years. She decided to go back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During this time, she also began backyard beekeeping and creating again, realizing that like food for the body, she needed art to feed her soul!
Expressing herself through her art and beekeeping help Annani deal with her disability, taking her mind off of the illnesses and the chaos they have created in her life. She believes in showing her children that there are healthier ways to deal with mental health issues. Inspired by everything around her, her art reflects her experiences, emotions, and beliefs and how she interprets them. The themes in her artwork deal with our burdens and how we carry them. She works with acrylics, gouache, oil pastels and has recently fallen in love with Linocut printmaking; the process and how distinctively raw each individual print comes out.
© Mildred Annani Mercado