What an AWESOME 2010 Mental Health Awareness Month Cartoon-a-thon!!! First, I want to thank all the heroes from the bottom of my heart for being brave enough to let me draw them!!! We had so many Mental Health Heroes, I felt bad I was only able to draw 31. I want to “thank” all the heroes for their support and for making this cartoon-a-thon such a success!!! (Keep up the great work all Heroes…you make a difference!!!) As I mentioned in past posts, I only started teaching myself to draw caricatures over the last year. Mostly, from online resources and a few books. I did take an hour class once but it was real basic; plus an hour drive.
Let’s review the month. It started out in Chicago at the 2010 DBSA’s 25th Anniversary Conference. I was given an opportunity to be in attendance to some incredible lectures and workshops. The event started out on April 28th with DBSA 2010 Chapter Leadership Forum, affectionately called “The Party With Our Peers.” My three biggest personal highlights (besides just attending).. attending Scott Nychay’s art therapy workshop…(He is a fellow cartoonist and Illustrator…well, there is a huge difference between our art styles… He is a professional. I’m just a guy with a pen and some paper. Still, I hope the he and I can work together on a future mental health project!!) The second and third highlights were finally meeting David Granirer – in person that is!! (He leads the Annual DBSA Comedy Show.) My biggest personal achievement…being a last minute stand-up comic in the Stand-Up For Mental Health Comedy show. I’ve never done Stand-up and it made such a impact on me. I’m going try it again real soon! You can listen to my set. Just check out this post DBSA – Chato B. Stewart 1st Stand-Up for Mental Health Comedy Performance EVER… (audio only). What a fitting way to open the start of Mental Health Month.
Since I did not get home to Florida till early morning on May 3rd, I was already behind in drawing the caricatures. This year’s Cartoon-a-thon also marked a few milestones for me. Not only was I attempting to draw caricatures, I did stand up for the first time. But, it also finally brought me to my new home here at Psych Central. It was also the first year Facebook played a huge part. Mostly in finding so many fine Mental health heroes. It was there that I got the inspiration and encouragement to keep going.
Here’s what a few said:
“Chato, I love the way you do this. Among all of the huge headaches that go along with pushing against the system, you are there with the cartoons that say it all for us!! Thanks for making me smile every time I see one of your drawings! ” – Gretchen (NAMI) National Alliance on Mental Illness Connection Program
“Your talent continues to AMAZE me!” – Tammy
“This is great Chato!! I love it! I’ll be sure to let the Celebrity Psychings readers know about it too! Thanks hun! Wow!” – Alicia Sparks
This month’s Cartoon-a-thon has also been very difficult, not just because of the drawing. But having to deal with a lot of “physical” pain. Starting around the 10th, my jaw starting to give me a problem. It started out as a mild pain but by the 15th, I was in daily agony. The pain resonated from my ear down my jaw. I saw a doctor on the 20th. She got me worried that I had both a Mental Health and Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders (TMJ). She gave me some Ibuprofen and Tremadol that only made it worse!! When I saw a dentist on the 25th, she assured me it was not TMJ!! Rather, I had an abscess and I needed an antibiotic.
Each time the pain would come and go, it lasted longer and longer… I was worried I would not be able to draw my peers!! I asked for some encouragement to work through my issue and finish what I started. Not only did I get an outpouring of compassion and sympathy but the encouragement gave me the strength to push that pencil to the paper!!
“Thanks for all the hard work, even while you are under severe pain. My prayer is answered in seeing your strength being revealed. – Iain Ocasio
“Oh poor you – you really are suffering with this1)” – Elisabeth
“At this point, you need a pro-biotic to offset the loss of the good bugs in your system from all the antibiotics, or you’ll develop more issues. It’s all connected. Good luck buddy. Sounds rough.” – Ken
“Great job! I’m very happy with it but I really wish you weren’t in so much pain 🙁 I hope they get that straightened out sooner than later. xo” -Francine
Yes, I was able to work through the pain and happily posted the last Mental Health Hero May 31st at 11:45PM!!! Once again, I want to thank everyone who was part of the Cartoon-A-Thon this year!!! I encourage you to check out all the Heroes!!!
Over the next week, I will be getting back to drawing the Mental Health Humor Cartoons. If you have an idea for a cartoon, please let me know. I just might try and draw it. (I’ll also be adding all my past cartoons over the next few weeks as well.) Hope you enjoy!!!
Would you like to know more about Chato B . Stewart?
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Like it? Link it: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor
- (hug [↩]