UVU artist Kaitlyn Hodges shines a light on mental health

Kaitlyn Hodges, a junior between majors, has always had a passion for art. Her drawing ability really took root in the seventh grade, and though she has no plans to make a career out of her artistic skill, she continues to create at UVU.

If opportunities became available through video games, animation or comics, however, she would gladly accept them. In fact, she is currently considering these as degree paths but, “right now it is more of a hobby,” Hodges said.

Artist Kaitlyn Hodges creates illustrations like this to channel her emotions, including those resulting from her clinical depression.

Kaitlyn Hodges has been diagnosed with depression and admits that the disorder has inspired some of her work. She acknowledges that she has never seen a therapist or psychiatrist, but knows that she should, and she hopes that this article might help raise awareness of mental health problems.

“It is common practice for people with depression to be advised to write or draw to express their emotions in a healthy way,” Hodges said, having been a forensic science major for some of her schooling and therefore versed in some basic psychology. This form of therapy is called art therapy.

Her artwork speaks somewhat of these themes, mostly done in black and white. The images are generally fantastical and some have anime inspiration, though her professional exposure to art is limited. “I took drawing and ceramics in high school as well as sculpture here at UVU.” Hodges said.

Illustration by Kaitlyn Hodges.

Hodges, interestingly enough, was never told to use art therapy but finds, “It helps with my emotions in a world that is so focused on seeing the problems.”

Her greatest inspiration comes from her dreams, however. One such example is a pterodactyl human hybrid drawing of which she said, “I had no reason to dream of such a thing, but there it was.”

She is willing to work collaboratively with fellow artists on projects—as long as the proceeds were fairly split.

Artists of all kinds at UVU are welcome to email [email protected] to be considered for a profile.

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