Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Illustration Friday {Phobia}

Social Phobia (as stated here): the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.

I'm not saying I feel this extreme in every social setting, but in the worst situations it is pretty close. Does anyone else look for the closest exit when they are at a big party?

This is the first time I've used Photoshop to "doctor" my illustration. I sort of feel like I've cheated...not my best work, but here it is!


himavant said...

nice interpretation of the phobia.. :-)

the enigma said...

wow, did u use watercolor here? great job with the color.

cruststation said...

This illustration interprets the fear and anxiety so well. I don't enjoy big parties either unless I know everyone...

fra said...

very nice

Michelle Lana said...

great image and nice composition! love it.

Amy Zaleski said...

All those judging eyes....some even have the nerve to yank her hair! You've done an excellent job on portraying a feeling. Your paints are well used to create mood lighting and a not so friendly sense of place. The little bit of sky showing through the window is a nice break in the darkness.

kempton said...

Dear Sally,

What a wonderful and yet "realistic" renditioin of the challenges faced by people with Social Phobia.

I have been struggling for the last 40+ minutes to craft this post and I keep changing the drafts. But I don't think I will ever get it out "right". Am I fearing being judged poorly? Probably not, but I do try to say something meaningful. So I will just try. Badly. But try, I will. By way of stories. And very bad stories at that. (smile)

Just last week, I went into a VIP exclusive party that I felt so formal and I knew 2 people out of 40, and only one is sort of free to talk but I knew she should be circulating and mixing with other guests. So at the end, I didn't want to stay and left a few minutes later. Not my a party for me so I left.

I guess sometimes I am not too good in circulating and meeting/connect with tens and hundreds of people in a big party. But I enjoy meeting and focusing on a few people and talking to them and get to know them. So in some sense, how the other 495 people think of me don't matter except the 5 that I talked to.

Last night, I went to a movie gala party and had a great time in a party with probably over 180 people. I think I talked to 10 people and then really meaningfully to 3 people out of that 10. I was wearing t-shirt and jeans which was not your typical gala party attire but good people and my true friends don't care. And I was more comfortable than last year that I no more care about what some people would say of what I wear.

This whole rambling took me an hour to write and re-write and I better stop now as it will never be quite "right". Please feel free to post or not post to your blog. Sally, I wrote this mostly for you. Ken is a great guy and you have a great brother in him. I have a little sister that loves me dearly and would lovely unconditionally the same.

We each have our own challenges in life and we are blessed in that we have our great family to support us through sometime the valley of darkness and sometime enjoy the open sky clear mountain view.

Have a great day,

P.S. Would you do a "Penn & Teller" thing and reveal the magic Photoshop touch please? I am too much of a tech geek that I would ask. But you don't have to tell if you don't feel comfortable. You have 100% control on this, Ms. Magician. (smile)

Love Squalor said...

yes, i've felt like this before! perfect illo!

devinemom said...

amazing image it is quite telling. you have captured the emotion of the anxiety.

DEW said...

Wow Sandra! This is fabulous! And yes, I feel like this all the time. I'm usually the first to come and first to leave a party and the only way I feel comfortable is if I help the host/hostess. That way I can disappear in the kitchen and do dishes or something!

I can't remember (I was out of town a while and I believe I left my brain somewhere - hopefully it will find its way home) if I told you I took your advice and am taking a watercolor class. After two sessions I'm beginning to wonder if it's the right medium for me (lol). I think it is a complete opposite to my pens and pencils and being self taught I never drew from the basic shapes. I never make a circle first and then put in features first - I draw an eye, then another eye, etc. The class is very good for me. Makes me look at everything differently and approach things COMPLETELY differently. So far I painted a tomatoe that looked like a big orange potatoe and a water picture that looks weird. :)

Back to you fab illo - in addition to the very cool composition, I love the coloring and the lighting, etc. You have this wonderful style and I'm now appreciating your work even more (if that's possible) because of the class I'm taking. Take care and I look forward to the next IF topic.

Hubby Hubberson said...

Who the hell is Kempton, and why does he leave such long blogs? Ken, teach your boy how to truncate, for the sake of Pete. Grin.

There is a perfect eye in this illustration, to the left and down a little. Tasty.

My phobia is people with phobias... they're really creepy. That and the small fact that every time we eat out I think I'm going to die from E-coli or some other nasty-ass disease.

Shall I prattle on?
I think not.


dex mission said...

hmmm..i think i have this phobia :)

really creepy stuff. i get anxiety by just looking at it. great job.

KristinaKR said...

Sandra Tournemille:
Can I please use your painting of social phobia for a research paper? I am a college student writing a paper about shyness, and I need an image that captures the essence of the topic. I only want permission to print it out and staple it to the essay. Please email me at with your name in the subject line. Thank you, Kristina

piters said...

super obraz oddaje dużo cech fobi społecznej.

Anonymous said...

would it be alright if i use your painting on my social phobia poster? It's a class project.

Gilbert Chapman said...

Anxiety disorders, in addition to generalized anxiety, include phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. For millions of sufferers anxiety disorders are disruptive, debilitating and often the reason for loss of job and serious problems in family relationships.

ctrlstress said...

As I work tirelessly to help others tackle Stress and Anxiety each day, and you absolutely need a correctly thought method of realize success with dealing with emotional stress.
Depression and Anxiety

multifaceted Mom said...

My name is Amanda and I really appreciate your illustration on social phobias. I am currently a student of social work and part of one of my projects is to find fantastic illustrations of physiological disorders. Having suffered in the past with panic attacks, social anxiety and depression i really connect with your piece and would love to have your permission to use it in my project. I need to do a reflection on why it works so well as an illustration. Please contact me at to let me know.

Fellow artist and mom

charlieblue said...


My name is Charlie & I'm a music producer.
I am self releasing a digital mixtape in a few months titled S.A.D. I have social anxiety & I feel your illustration has captured the fear and feeling of being watched & judged very well. With that being sad, I would like your permission to use your artwork as the cover for the mixtape. You will be recieving full credit for the cover.
Please contact me at on your decision, thank you.

Sincerely yours
A fan.

cheekinessoverload said...


My name is Michelle and I am a student studying medical humanities. I am currently working on a project on social anxiety. I really like your painting and am wondering if I can use it in my project. Please email at to let me know. Thanks a lot!!