My name is Panteha Abareshi, and I’m an illustrator and artist focused on making pieces that accurately capture the realities of mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety. The girls I draw represent struggle, and confusion but they also epitomize strength. There is strength in vulnerability, there is power is admitting that you are broken down.
The girls I draw don’t need anyone, they don’t want anyone. They are strong and standing alone.They’re not phased by broken bones, or blood gushing from their wounds. The things that I draw, like knives and roses through the neck, bloody noses…these are tangible, obviously painful things that are impossible to miss. These are, to me, physical embodiments of what depression feels like.
My work also expresses my rejection of all modern notions of romance. My artwork is a direct expression of my beliefs that the way young people, especially girls, are taught to value, prioritize and derive happiness from “love” is damaging and wrong. I struggle with the societal standards for romance, love and sex constantly, and express that in my work because I want to normalize the notion of women/people not craving intimacy. I also aim to draw primarily Women of Color because it is vitally important to me to depict WOC with mental illness, WOC who are not driven by romantic or sexual desires, and just WOC as the focal pieces because it’s important that people of color in contemporary illustration and art be normalized.
I also work in pattern design, creating patterns inspired by my love of cell structure, and my own sickle cell thalassemia.