12837579_10153923112869462_413611262_oWhen an unlikely duo joined forces to create expressive artwork, it not only resulted in an array of beautifully intriguing work, but the birth of a new friendship. Kristy invites us into her weekly experiences, using art and good company as a learning tool to cope with emotions and create support systems with the people around her.

I took #TGIF to a whole new level when I decided to take up my good friend, Jacob’s proposal, and start to draw together every Friday night. It was pitched to me at the beginning of 2016, when most people began their New Year’s resolutions with the usual broken promises of going to the gym or changing their diet. But Jacob’s own new year goal, when returning from Paris, was a burning desire to revive his artistic drought and he didn’t want to do it alone.

Before all this, we were two unmotivated creatives going through anxiety, depression and grief due to the passing of my late boyfriend and Jacob’s best friend, Alex, last November. Jacob expressed an obvious disinterest in getting to know me for quite a while. For the first few months that I knew him, we only engaged in obligated small talk and often through our friend Miguel who forced us to follow each other on Instagram. But through our loss and heartache, and after a lot of mourning and reminiscing our love for Alex, we both noticed that we shared a mutual love for drawing.


We started one Friday night in the backyard of his Castle Hill home. It was a simple night. We doodled in our art journals with pen and ink while our stomachs were filled with pizza and ciders, our skins were soaked with Aeroguard and our ears were feasting on the musical stylings from the late 90’s.

What started as just a simple activity, grew into something more. It was more than just a cure or a solution for our emotional problems, it became an extension of ourselves and an opportunity for us to transform our pain into art.

These days, Jacob and I do our little “crafternoons” with other people and sometimes on different days. We are currently attempting to expand our creativity by giving ourselves small projects to work on. Currently, he’s doing an EP cover for his friend whilst managing his own art project that he’s hoping to submit somewhere. As for myself, I’ve decided to renew my illustration journey on Instagram by starting fresh and experimenting with new styles and techniques. I’m also currently doing a piece that I’m hoping to submit to the Yen Female Art Awards soon in May.

Collectively, we are also looking to make and sell t-shirts and prints at Glebe Markets soon, and we’ll definitely see where it all takes us.

Follow our journey on Instagram for little doodles or paintings 🙂 or if you want to come out and draw or collaborate with us, feel free to send us a message.
Jacob Clerke: @oooopsts
Kristy Phanhsena: @kudostokristy


If you or someone else are experiencing depression or mental health issues, please don’t hesitate to visit BeyondBlue or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.  For all emergencies, ring ‘000’.