Freddy Carrasco and Ace & Tate present a new comic on the importance of self-acceptance

Now, more than ever, people around the world have become more comfortable talking about mental health, particularly around this time of year when World Mental Health Day takes place. Nevertheless, “it’s a message that we need to keep pushing,” says illustrator Freddy Carrasco while discussing a new commission for Ace & Tate. “We’ve all got demons and there’s no such thing as a perfect family, a perfect relationship or a perfect job,” he adds poignantly. “We’re all just trying to figure it out one day at a time.”

In a new comic commissioned by the Dutch eyewear company, which has a long tradition of raising awareness around mental health, Freddy investigates the topic of balance and, more specifically, hot topics such as self-care and wellness. For many creatives these topics and the artistic practice are intrinsically linked, finding their process can ease mental tensions and induce a therapeutic state of mind. It’s certainly the case for Freddy who, in his own words, has “been an introvert for the majority of [his] life, so drawing has always been a way to express how [he’s] feeling when the words haven’t come easily, which is often.”

In a recent report made in collaboration with The Akin, Ace & Tate investigated the notion of balance by asking 1,800 people across eight different countries how they stay level headed today. In a startling examination, they found that 65% of the participants had suffered (or nearly suffered) a breakdown. 85% of the participants stated that social media makes them unhappy, while another 85% said they find balance by escaping to nature. For Freddy however, as well as many creatives like him, “it has always been art” that keeps him balanced. He tells It’s Nice That, “the abstract nature of emotion is often impossible to describe with language, so art keeps me sane.”

On discovering the results of this research, Ace & Tate wanted to do something to contribute to the future of mental health, resultantly commissioning Freddy to create a comic to help raise awareness on the matter. Selecting the Japan-based creative for his ability to relay a relatable story using an original medium, the new comic transforms the complicated subject matter into an accessible visual narrative.

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