Cartoonist explores connection between mood disorders and creativity

Ever wondered what are the connections between mood disorders and creativity? Cartoonist, illustrator, and teacher, Ellen Forney, set out to explore exactly that. Her graphic novel, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, details her decision to begin taking medication for bipolar disorder, and the fear she had that the treatment might negate her love of the arts. Through her book, Forney hopes to change the societal view of mood disorders, and “increase understanding of what bipolar disorder is, and what it’s like to be bipolar for people who have siblings, or friends, or co-workers, or whoever, who are dealing with that.” In Forney’s own words, her book is “about my diagnosis, and my struggle with bipolar disorder… and then other artists and writers through history that have had mood disorders.” The video below is an interview of Forney by Seattle Channel 21, in which Forney explains how she came to write the graphic novel.

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.