Braiden x Nick

0:00
0:00

How do you express what it feels like to be a young man secretly living with an eating disorder?

For mental health advocate Braiden and graphic designer Nick, the answer was in a collection of bold, abstract designs. Each expression represents an important milestone in Braiden’s journey, and together, they capture the real experiences of facing mental health challenges.

Braiden Fitzsimmons (he/him)

Being a young male, it was difficult for me to understand and express the way I was feeling at times. Being brought up in an environment where there was a lot of focus on looking after my physical health, I never got taught that I should also be focusing just as much on my mental health.

My experiences with eating disorders inspired my creative expression. I wanted to capture the raw reality of what it is like for a young man to be secretly living with an eating disorder and the pressure that comes with that.

Nick McGovern (he/him)

After hearing Braiden’s story, four key themes were identified that were significant milestones in his experience with mental health difficulties. Although each of these themes was powerful enough individually to warrant their own piece, we collectively came to the decision that a narrative that encompasses the whole journey would be an ideal way to communicate his story. I wanted to retell the story using graphic, abstract compositions that were true to the experiences, yet also allowed the viewer to relate their own experiences to the narrative.

MY VISIBLE MESSAGE

In my teenage years I really struggled to navigate through life. I was unaware of who to talk to about what was going on for me at the time and I think my creative expression really captures that message.

I am hoping that my expression can help people understand that mental health does not discriminate. It’s absolutely not just teenage girls that deal with eating disorders. Anyone can experience them, and that includes males of all ages.

It’s important you find someone who you’re comfortable with and trust enough to talk to. I think a lot of my mental health experiences could have been prevented if I knew that there was someone there for me to talk to.

Braiden

The collab

I began by condensing the information from our workshop into four key themes. The next step was to draw some initial thumbnail sketches using pen and paper to get a feel for how these themes could potentially work visually. I then took these ideas to the computer and played around with shape, colour, scale and typography to try and get the right feel for the messages. Finally, these draft directions were then placed in-situ into a t-shirt, then further refined to reach the final outcomes for the project.

Nick

Nick did a great job with just listening to me and then taking key parts from my message and interpreting it in his own creative way. I wasn’t really sure what I visually wanted my experiences to look like and that’s where I allowed and trusted Nick to take over and do his thing. He absolutely blew me away with how much detail and hidden messages that he put in the designs.

Braiden

Braiden Fitzsimmons (he/him)

In his position as an Australian Youth Advocate for Mental Health, Braiden hopes to help young men to better understand the importance of looking after their mental health, and to know that help is available when they need it. He hopes to, in collaboration with The Butterfly Foundation, break through barriers for people with eating disorders.

Nick McGovern (he/him)

Nick is a 34-year-old Graphic Designer / Graphic Artist based in Melbourne. He’s mostly Inspired by the influences and interests that have defined his life and is passionate about creating experimental artworks and products without any creative boundaries. Nick welcomed the opportunity to help spread the messages of Visible, which he feels are more important than ever, particularly in the strange and difficult times we currently live in.

Other expressions you may like

Help us understand the impact of Visible.

Thanks for checking
out Visible.

It would really help us to understand the impact of Visible if you could tell us how much you agree or disagree with the following statements

My experience with Visible today helped me to…

Feel connected to someone else's experience of mental health

Strongly
disagree
NeutralStrongly
agree

Visible is a movement initiated by the Australian Youth Advocates for Mental Health (AYAMH), co-ordinated by headspace and guided by 9 National Mental Health organisations.

Visible would like to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians. We value their cultures, identities, and continuing connection to country, waters, kin and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and are committed to making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

headspace is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. headspace welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd is a health promotion charity that has been endorsed as a deductible gift recipient. ABN 26 137 533 843