Panteha Abareshi Creates Powerful Work Exploring Mental Illness

June 29, 2017

Panteha Abareshi is an illustrator and artist focused on making pieces that accurately capture the realities of mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety. She writes that "there is strength in vulnerability, there is power is admitting that you are broken down."

Her work also expresses my rejection of all modern notions of romance. It is a direct expression of her beliefs that the way young people, especially girls, are taught to value, prioritize and derive happiness from “love” is damaging and wrong. Abareshi writes that "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."

Abareshi also works in pattern design, creating patterns inspired by her love of cell structure, and her own sickle cell thalassemia.