Let’s Talk: conversations about mental health with Kate Forrester

“It’s ok to not feel ok. Speak up. Let’s Talk. ”

Renowned lettering illustrator, Kate Forrester, collaborated with photographer, Charlie Clift, on the mental health awareness campaign, Let’s Talk. The two artists used their artistic strengths to break the stigma against mental health; interviewing volunteers, hand-painting their most difficult thoughts on their faces (using white liquid eyeliner and face-paint) and photographing them. Though they planned to only shoot 4 or 5 portraits, the campaign expanded over the year and ended with close to 20 portraits, including some well known faces. This series of photographs was recently shortlisted for a DandAD and exhibited in Guildhall Yard, London last month.

Watch Kate paint the volunteers’ stories on their skin:

Kate Forrester reflects on her unique experience working on Let’s Talk:

“The work had to be very spontaneous which is the opposite of most of the illustration that I do. I didn’t meet the subjects until the day of the shoot and only received the interview texts the evening before so when it came to drawing the lettering on their faces, I could not plan ahead. It sounds daunting but it was actually very liberating to work that way…

The whole project was based around opening up conversations about mental health and every shoot day, there was a lot of chat with the subjects and the team and I felt I learnt so much from these inspirational people. It’s quite an intimate act to draw on someone’s face and potentially awkward but it never was. It was surprisingly joyful despite the intense subject matter. I think we all found it cathartic.”

c/o The Photography Movement

See more of Kate Forrester’s letteringhere.
Read more about Let’s Talk here.