“Thin Slices of Anxiety” Is An Illustrated Look At An Anxious Mind
Anxiety is one of those subjects that innately resonates with creative people. I’m not sure why the two go hand-in-hand, but if Gemma Correll’s The Worrier’s Guide to Life taught me anything, it was that this problem affects a lot more people than anyone realizes. Maybe it’s society’s relentless nature to make us work more and rest less that makes us seek solace inside our minds. Whatever the case, it’s a subject that’s hard to put your finger on in words, which is why Catherine Lepage‘s Thin Slices of Anxiety takes a different approach.
The Canadian illustrator’s fourth book is a quick and easily digestible look at the thoughts and emotions that plague an anxious mind. Per the book’s slogan, short illustrations make “emotions much easier to digest.” Lepage doesn’t weigh her book down with long essays or first-person narratives. Instead she uses short sentences paired with her whimsical doodles to convey her message.
The book is divided into four chapters that each illustrate some fraction of anxiety, from a chapter on bad habits to a chapter on “cheesy” quotes. The book reads like someone’s private moleskin, full of doodles in corners and slanted writing across pages. “I’ve spent so many years repressing my feelings that I’ve lost touch with my emotions,” she writes next to a drawing of a frog in a crown. “I would like to change, but I don’t know how.”
And that’s essentially the crux of the issue of anxiety. Despite self-awareness, anxiety sufferers can’t control how they feel, they can only identify that it exists. But Thin Slices isn’t here to deliver some sort of antidote. Instead, it’s more like a trusting, non-judgmental source to seek solace in, one that understands and knows that, underneath it all, we’re all human.