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Philly Street Artist Amberella Takes Aim at Anxiety and Depression with New “Fortunate” Series

September 16, 2018

Arguably one of the better-known streets artists in Philly these last couple of years, Amberella’Goth Heart series can be found in almost ever corner of the city. Her latest street art series, titled Fortunate, started popping up this year and offers positive predictions and affirmations.

After spotting this You Will Allow Yourself to Begin Again piece at 2nd street and Girard avenue in Northern Liberties, I reached out to Amberella to ask more about her Fortunate series:

“The fortunate series speaks to mental health and the importance of self care. I’ve been working on this series off and on again for years. It wasn’t until this spring that I dedicated an entire vacation to finishing the designs, because I felt them to be that important to share. I have about 20 to release when the timing feels right.”

“I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression in the past and have seen others throughout my entire life that have been affected as well. I battled heavily to get a grip on my mental and emotional health and succeeded. It was far from pretty. These were tremendously painful, grueling times, even times when I was so depressed (just gone) that I actually felt nothing at all. How devastating. But the fight was worth it.”

“I want people to know that they aren’t alone and it’s possible to feel like yourself again or how about feel even better than ever before? FYI though, it’s a lifetime of caring for yourself – so get on that. You may feel so foreign in your very own skin and as if you will never feel joy or light again. The darkness is so thick, debilitating, and painful. Your stomach in knots, your heart heavy, you literally feel physically ill. (It’s all connected!) That is the dark hole. And you can get out.”

“I swear you will be happy again and you will be okay. It’s possible but it takes noticing/accepting you have something going on, humility, help, and of course the work. I’ve learned over the years how to recognize the warning signs and steer clear of hopefully ever returning to those places (i.e. MAJOR panic attacks in high school and bouts of immobilizing depression in my early 20’s, which took me YEARS to understand, get proper help, figure out what worked for me and my body, and heal from.) I’ve seen mental illness destroy people and relationships completely. It’s devastating and completely heartbreaking. (F*&% YOU ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION!) I know my warning signs and when I need help – whether that’s making sure I’m working out everyday, saying no to an inhumane amount of work, getting out of the city, letting a friend know I need to talk, journaling, reading uplifting books, seeking out therapy, the spectrum is broad.”

“You can continue to ignore yourself and run yourself into the ground in every which way, but eventually it catches up. And digging yourself out of that ‘eventually’ hole and trying to repair the damage you’ve done to yourself and potentially others along the way is far worse than making the time you don’t have for yourself NOW. The time is truly now. But you think you are too far gone? Or it’s too daunting, too hard, or time will take care of things… your ego is in the way.”

You Will Allow Yourself to Begin Again is a reminder that you can literally begin again at any moment. Why not start now? (Whatever that may be.) Because you can… and what a beautiful gift that is. Ponder that – we can begin again at any moment. It’s up to your very own self. We decide.”

(Amberella installing at 2nd and Girard in 2016)

“I’m planting those seeds of encouragement. Maybe I’m giving a glimpse of a possibility. I’ve been known for my rose colored glasses, how naive one could say, or how beautiful another may say. I prefer the latter.”

Thanks so much to Amberella for the refreshingly honest words and look into her work with this new series!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. marandarussell permalink
    September 16, 2018 1:36 pm

    What a cool idea! The sign almost reminds me of a big fortune cookie :)


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