ABOUT THE PROJECT
Reflections of Me, an art and poetry book by 27-year-old emerging artist Kirsty Latoya, from South London.
The book will be made up of four sections – mental health, identity, womanhood and love – and images will be accompanied by original poems from the artist.
Whilst studying in New York, Latoya took the opportunity to take art classes and learn to paint. Using this as a foundation, in December 2014 Latoya taught herself digital art using an iPad and stylus by experimenting with different apps and programs. Not long after, she ditched the stylus, preferring the freedom of drawing on the iPad with her finger which is how Kirsty now creates all her art pieces.
Latoya’s passion to explore mental health through her art comes from her own battles with mental health – having first suffered with depression at the age of 13 – and a desire to help others who suffer with mental health feel less alone and more connected through art.
Latoya has also been very outspoken for the need to de-stigmatise mental health especially amongst Black and Asian communities who are statistically less likely to ask for help when suffering from mental health problems.
Publisher Crystal Mahey-Morgan said: “Kirsty’s ability to convey emotion through her art and affect the viewer in a profound way is truly breath taking. She has a unique ability to express complex ideas through seemingly simple images around universal human emotion. This coupled with her boldness in tackling sometime sensitive issues makes her a truly exciting artist and one to watch. We’re very proud to be able to work with and publish such an important voice and talent.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kirsty Latoya also known as KirzArt is a South London illustrator who specialises in mental health art. Having always drawn as a child Kirsty taught herself digital art 2 years ago and this is now her chosen medium. She uses her iPad to create art and uniquely uses her finger as a stylus. She draws on her own experiences with depression and anxiety to produce eye-catching digital paintings portraying her representation of mental health. Kirsty’s art has been recognised on reported on by the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed to name a few. Kirsty is driven by her passion and inspired by the unconventional beauty in the world.
Click on the image below to see Kirsty Latoya speak to the BBC
Click on the image below to watch a video of Kirsty Latoya speaking to ITV News