Chuck Mullin of ChuckDrawsThings Uses Pigeons to Illustrate Anxiety


When you think about anxiety, pigeons might not be the first animal to come to mind, but for Chuck Mullin, the city-dwelling birds are the perfect fit for illustrating her anxious thoughts.

 

“Pigeons have always been my favorite animal, partly because I think they’re cute, partly because I find them to be loveable, silly and relatable,” Mullin, 22, told The Mighty. “They’re generally looked down upon for eating trash and being everywhere, but they’re weirdly funny to watch. I think everyone can relate to being kicked about despite having so much personality to offer, so they seemed like fun little emblems for comics.”

http://chuckdrawsthings.tumblr.com/post/158753397188/cycle

Mullin, who shares her illustrations on social media as “ChuckDrawsThings,” lives with anxiety and depression. Illustrating her anxiety, she said, is cathartic.

“It’s mainly as a coping method, a way to express my feelings in a constructive manner,” the London-based illustrator shared. “Having anxiety means I struggle to vocalize what I feel sometimes, so if I draw something about it, I feel liked I’ve vented in a relatively healthy manner.”

http://chuckdrawsthings.tumblr.com/post/159988906648/stability

Although it’s hard for her to pick a favorite, one illustration Mullin particularly loves is a cartoon of a pigeon going to therapy. “Extreme close ups always make me laugh,” she said. “I think it captures the sense of futility and the struggle that comes with trying to get help.”

http://chuckdrawsthings.tumblr.com/post/157874811683/therapy

Beyond allowing Mullin to express her thoughts, her illustrations have helped others living with anxiety as well. “I really wasn’t expecting it,” she said of the positive feedback she’s received. “It’s been lovely receiving such nice messages from others and connecting with people going through the same thing. I never thought I’d be able to do that on such a massive scale.”

http://chuckdrawsthings.tumblr.com/post/159277000903/sounds-fake

If she could share one thing about living with anxiety, Mullin said she’d want others to know she’s not being shy or rude. “I genuinely can’t control my anxiety,” she said. “It’s so much more than just being a bit nervous – the mental and physical side effects are overwhelmingly powerful.”

http://chuckdrawsthings.tumblr.com/post/158639806088/a-bitter-pill

Header image credit: Chuck Mullin. 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

woman reading or watching something on macbook laptop with phone by her side

Why I Hate When Publications Say You Can 'Beat' or 'Overcome' Anxiety

Because I’ve been writing about stress, anxiety and overthinking for the past two years, nearly every day I receive a new trending anxiety article via text or Facebook messenger from a smart, well-read friend or family member. The piece usually gives advice on how you can “beat,” “overcome,” “conquer” and “escape” anxiety. I always stand at [...]
sad female student wincing and leaning against locker

How My Life Would Have Been Different If I Had Mental Health Education in High School

In high school, everyone has their worries and fears. Every teenager overthinks what to wear and what people think of them. Almost every teenager worries about college and stresses over school work while trying their best. So as a high school student, I always thought I was like every other teenager. I thought it was [...]
A woman grabbing the back of her neck

The Anxiety I Feel With My Entire Body

Anxiety. We all have it. However, when my anxiety is bad, I pass out. I throw up. I get dizzy. I lose my vision and hearing and feeling in my body and become numb. Anxiety isn’t just being nervous about a big exam. It is, for me, a physical response, coupled with an unknown autonomic [...]
Illustration of lion roaring with flames in the background

The Roar of My Anxiety Only I Can Hear

Pay attention to your body and what it tells you. But that isn’t always easy, especially at times when your body is rebelling. When it’s doing things that don’t feel good. That you feel you have no control over. I’m in a dark room right now. Everything hurts. I want to sit at my computer [...]