Xuan’s comic aims to
shed light on Tourette’s
What is it like living with Tourette’s Syndrome? MA Illustration student Xuan Liu, who has the condition, has created a comic strip book to give people an insight.
31 Aug 2022
Xuan, who goes by the artist’s name Bernini, is from China, and wanted to study Illustration in the UK because of its traditional look and feel.
“I liked to draw since I was a child until I got interested in illustration at university and found it to be a creative profession, I heard that illustration in the UK is very traditional, so I decided to study traditional illustration,” she said.
Her book is called The Elephant, and details how the main character – a girl with Tourette’s, goes on a journey from finding she has the condition, to accepting herself. When she has an attack, parts of her body turn into an elephant – making the phrase “the elephant in the room”, a metaphor for the disorder.
Tourette’s is an inherited condition, the key features of which are ticks, involuntary and uncontrollable sounds and movements like whistles, coughs, or words.
Xuan, who hopes to become a freelance illustrator, took three months creating her book and is important to her as she herself has the condition.
“It affects me a lot, I sometimes have insomnia, and I sometimes have trouble concentrating and twitching,” she said. “ I am on medication to control it though, so I don't need additional support.
“I liken Tourette's to an elephant in the comics because that's how I feel, I'm like the elephant in the room, everyone knows I'm different, even think I'm weird, but because they are adults, they don't say it directly.
"I hope that people without Tourette Syndrome read this cartoon more than people with it, because I want everyone to know more about this disease.”
Want to see more amazing work like this? Our postgraduate graduation shows continue across our campuses this week until September 4, and online.