Madeleine Sava On Emotional Self-Development Through Illustrations

An artists personal and mental journey through creation, in her own words.

Below is a visual and verbal tale from illustrator Madeleine Sava on how to embrace your insecurities and the bumps and blocks that life throws your way – and in fact how to lean into them for a cathartic release. Both illustrations and words are by Madeleine Sava:

“It is really hard finding direction when you are in your 20s when the roads untaken seem to hover over you as a reminder of a life you could have had, when friends are in relationships and you’re being ghosted, when you are in a relationship and friends are being free. It is hard to show emotion as a woman when you have been taught that to show anger is to act crazy, to act crazy is unattractive. To cry is to be too sensitive, to be too sensitive is hard work for someone else. My illustrations are a daily reminder for myself to live authentically, to experience a full range of emotions, and thoughts, and not be ashamed of them. My Instagram has shown me that women are not alone in their thoughts or feelings or experiences.

My art is 100% me, a now 29-year-old woman who has made some bad decisions but more good, who cries on lovers doorsteps, who tells people she’s been on a run when she really hasn’t, who took 4 years to get over her ex, who lets other people ding the bell on the bus before she does for fear of someone following her home, who doesn’t like yoga, who leaves her phone on loud in case he texts her back, who loves herself so much. 

Embracing both the trivia of life and my uniqueness 

My first drawing post was a colorful list of ‘Initial Questions to Make Sure I’m Not Wasting My Time’, a not so subtle dig at my ex who I was still in a relationship with at the time. Needless to say, my drawing saw the beginning of the end for us. Over the years I gained followers and with gaining followers, I gained a community. A bunch of quirky characters who how found healing together. 

I am proud of the work I have created through drawing vulnerably and honestly and having a zero fucks attitude. “


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