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Aug 07, 5:00 PM EDT

On Art, OCD and Creative Expression

Andre Kan is a Toronto based painter. Since graduating from the Ontario College of Art & Design University in 2014, he continues his creative pursuits as an Artist, Muralist, Photographer, Curator, Producer, and Musician. His paintings have been showcased throughout Canada with permanent collections in the U.S and China. His murals can also be seen internationally including London, Spain, Portugal and Taiwan.

Andre experienced OCD symptoms as early as 7 years old. From a young age, he always turned to art as a way to express what he was feeling. Overtime Andre found that he was most at peace when he was either painting or playing guitar.

Enlivened by his interest in spacial structures and interconnectivity, Andre's paintings serve as excitable blueprints for a possible reality. Each work depicts the artists' signature imaginative building blocks that converge and begin to build upon each other and strengthening each other towards an ever transforming space. Kan's structures are substantial and complex but not yet anchored - they float suspended in his psychological space. In this way Kan's buildings remain a playful proposition for the viewer not yet tied to a specific place or function. With his dynamic formations, Kan propels us towards an ever optimistic future where new connections and constructions have yet to materialize.

His current work investigates the architectural interpretations that respond to our ever advancing society, and suggests what 'possibility' means through self discovery. Examining what mark making and its properties mean, as well as the significance in cause and effect, is important here. Kan's psychological structures depict change and evolution of space, while also questioning the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it.

About Megan Kee

In 2016, Megan's brother died of an overdose. After years of her own struggles with mental health (bipolar and anxiety), she was faced with a choice —  either focus on what she had lost or focus on how much she gained through knowing him. This perspective shift changed everything.

In January 2017, she started experimenting with meditation, exercise, mindset practices, and healthy eating. These changes had an unbelievable impact on her quality of life and productivity. She wanted to share what she learned in hopes that it might help others. 

Coming from a fine art background, having worked in a commercial, institutional and non-profit capacity, she decided to use her skills and expertise to give back. In May 2018, she incorporated a non-profit called Twentytwenty Arts that raises awareness and visibility for mental health, homelessness, and addiction. She now advocates alongside her amazing community through artistic campaigns, conversations and collaborations.

About On Mental Health and Creativity

Combining the creative process and psychotherapy, art therapy facilitates self-exploration and understanding. Whether artists utilize their artistic practice as a form of therapy or use it to convey complex ideas about mental health, the mutually beneficial relationship between mental health and creativity is undeniable. In this series, we will explore how art can be beneficial as a medium of mental health expression, the impact it can have on yourself and others, and where to begin.

As Georgia O’Keefe once said, “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing–and keeping the unknown always beyond you.” Arguably, how—and that—you create is more important than what you create. 

Hosted by Megan Kee, the Founder of Twentytwenty Arts, an organization producing art projects to raise awareness for mental health, homelessness and addiction, this series aims to explore the crucial role that art can play in reducing mental health stigma and allowing us to make the unknown known.

Original Series

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