Hong Kong-based artist Mini Lau designs and creates wonderfully whimsical pastel tattoos. Delicately drawn with fine lines and candy-colored ink, each tiny illustration adorns the skin in a subtle yet striking manner reminiscent of a storybook. Lau is one of the three artists that make up Hello Tattoo, a shop that specializes in a range of styles, from tribal tattoos to mandala-inspired pieces. Lau’s aesthetic is categorized as Korean, a genre renowned for its tiny tattoos featuring watercolor-like shading.
Art is oftentimes an outlet for creative and emotional expression, something that 20-year-old Christian Hopkins knows all too well. The young photographer uses photography as a coping mechanism for depression. He says, “I’ve been suffering from Major Depression for the past 4 years and it has manifested itself throughout that period in many ways, photography included.”
Hopkins’ friend, Redditor Musketman, decided to share some of the gifted photographer’s powerful images as a means of saving them online because Hopkins had planned to delete them all. The images reveal a vulnerability that speaks to just about everyone. While Hopkins’ mental and emotional state may be heightened at different intervals, there’s an incredibly relatable sentiment in his work that mirrors bouts with depression, loneliness, lethargy, and a mental battle with oneself.
Since posting the images through Imgur, Hopkins has joined reddit and shares, “I did tell my friend that that I was going to delete my photographs. I was going through a somewhat severe episode of depression, and I am often not myself during said episodes. Who ‘myself’ may truly be is still something I struggle with daily… If anything, I hope I helped someone with my photography. They’re me. Perhaps they are you as well. Maybe they’re neither. Maybe they’re we.”