The Family Stew: Bipolar Moment

2013 Mental Health Humor - Sunday Silly bipolar arms skateboard!

Joan Winifred: Better keep slapping them on and fly to the store and replace your son’s skateboard!

Caption: Bipolar moment: Belief you can do anything

The Family Stew Cartoonist Chato Stewart’s Notes:

It’s funny how the the development of a character takes place while drawing a cartoon. This is the beginnings of rounding out me as Chato Stewart as a character and my wife Joan Winifred as a character in the cartoon series “the family stew.”  Joan Winifred was always meant to be the antagonist in the concept of the cartoon, totally against her own personality as she readily tells/shows me day in and day out. While my character is more aloof, whimsical and happy…that is not too far a stretch for me, but I wanted my character to be the butt of the jokes.

The above-cartoon was used during the month I spent drawing nothing but the family stew cartoons which gave me opportunity to round out the character. Identifying these characters to a point where he being Chato Stewart, dresses in black and blue prefiguring his mental and emotional turmoil. Whereas Joan Winifred is always in green, the a global symbol/color for peace.

It would be a number of months before I totally get all the characters for The Family Stew fleshed out to where I’m happy with them. That’s one of the main reasons why it took so long to do a spinoff blog for the series. I wanted to make sure, I understood my character, my wife’s character, and the ever-changing characters of my children. I wanted to make sure I had the right voice for the blog.  Is it going to be about me? Is it just going to be about mental illness? Is it going to be about me living with mental illness and my family dealing with me being mentally challenged? It’s a slippery slope. That’s why for a lot of the cartoons, I would avoid introducing the kids, and I would just have me alone, or with my wife. However,  that’s changing as I am getting more comfortable in drawing the whole family.

I hope you enjoyed – my Family Stew.

Mediation Room – Making Peace With Your Demons?

2013 Mental Health Humor -  making peace with your demons - Chato Stewart

Fun With Phobias – Ablutophobia: The Fear of Taking a Shower

Fun with phobias

No my fear is not that one of my 4 kids will walk into the shower. Nope, I don’t have ablutophobia – the fear / phobia of taking a shower. My hear is that by time time it my turn to take a shower at night… the kids will of used up all the hot water!

Meet The Family Stew!

2011 Meet The Family Stew by Chato StewartHere is my family: The Family Stew. Well not drawn, me Chato Stewart and my wife Joan Winifred. In 2007, I started The Family Stew cartoon series. unfortunately, at the time, the cartoons really didn’t have any direction…Well yes, it would be about me and the “family.”  My character development and limited talent was holding back the series.

Also there are so many cartoons like it about the “family.” I didn’t feel it was original, so I put it on the back burners.

I didn’t totally forget about the cartoon series, however.  When I started the Mental Health Humor Cartoons Project the next year in 2008, I was able to toss in a few of the cartoons here and there from The Family Stew. I worked on each of the kids’ characters and drew me and Joan. I kind of incorporated that cartoon series into the Mental Health Humor because it was not ready, or I was not ready to let it series on its own. You’ve seen cartoons about me and the kids from time to time. At times I would name it the Family stew and other times, I would just leave it as Mental Health Humor.

In 2011, I took part in a month long awareness project at We Go Health. It was 30 days in November. 30 blog post for National Blog Post Month. Each Day We Go Health would provide a subject and I had to write a blog post about that subject. Instead, I took the month to draw 30 cartoons from the Family Stew series. I was about to work out who and how I saw myself as a cartoon character. I cleaned up the image and came up with the black pants and blue shirt. Symbolizing a life living with mental illness filled with some black and blue times.

Back in 2011, the cartoon got it own series, and now it has it new home: http://thefamilystew.com

The cartoons will still be published on Psych Central and posted here. Obviously, the cartoons here will be specifically about me and my family.

The New Family Stew series blog was constructed around my family life living with Bipolar Disorder and Depression. My goal and focus is on our day-to-day lives and bringing hope and joy to all touched by mental illness.

Any way these are my Words of the wisdomless, take it for what it worth…may be a nickle or just 2 cents.