It’s like taking your brain on a little holiday: how creativity has helped Kerr’s mental wellbeing

I’m always in awe of people who have an artistic flair. I’m also fascinated by the therapeutic value and often times intensely personal experiences behind someone’s creativity. In this blog, we hear from Penumbra Recovery Worker, Kerr Mounie, who talks about how tapping into his creativity has helped him manage his mental wellbeing.


The reason I started drawing was probably a lot to do with the death of my son two years ago. I also live with depression and anxiety.

Just over a year ago, I was sitting in my in laws house where the whole family was gathering for a visit. My brain was at a loose end, so began a couple of little pastel pencil, pen and pencil drawings. I’d never tried it before, but I liked how they turned out. I did around 7 or 8 of them, then stopped. I gave her the very first picture I did to one of the people our team supports¬† and it’s up on her wall. After that, I stopped drawing and couldn’t get back into it.

Cut to a year later. For some reason (it helped I was being asked when I was going to draw more pictures) I started trying out oil pastels, small touches of acrylic paint and actual canvasses.¬†I could feel myself thinking ” I’m gonna try this and see how it turns out”.

Even now, when I start a picture, I don’t think it’s going to work but if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

I think it has helped my mental health no end.

I have actually sold 3 of my paintings. I am constantly exhausted but happier than I have been for quite a while. In my experience, it doesn’t matter if you can draw or not. Drawing a big squiggle and colouring in the different parts is relaxing. It’s all about taking your brain on a little holiday, even for a little while.

Huge thanks to Kerr for sharing his art and experiences with Spotlight. If you’d like to see more of Kerr’s work, you’ll find him on Instagram

If you’d like to contribute to Spotlight, drop us a line on communications@penumbra.org.uk