There’s was a loud thud by the door one morning. What had I ordered? Who had sent me something? It transpired that a wonderful friend of mine had Do What You Want sent to me as my birthday gift. I couldn’t be more greatful. I was also extremely surprised having been unaware of this printed zine or of the Tumblr that started it all.
By author and food writer Ruby Tandoh and her partner Leah Pritchard, this zine is both in-print and online, though to no surprise, the print edition had already sold out. But due to popular demand, it went out for another run at the printers. All profits are going to charities and not-for-profit organisations whilst the zine has also been featured in Rookie, ELLE, The BBC, The Guardian and more.
“With nearly 150 pages of interviews, essays and illustration, Do What You Want is a celebration of all aspects of mental wellbeing, from the provision of accessible mental health care to the power of self-belief. With a strong intersectional focus, this is a zine about mental health for all people, in all walks of life. We believe that mental health care and support should be a right for all.”
Regardless of whether you yourself suffer from a mental-health condition, someone you know does, or no one at all, it seems to be a read for everyone. It has become important prose of our time and for our society. The diversity of the pieces makes it an all-rounder- it’s also a balanced read from writers including Mara Wilson, Meera Sodha and Sally Burk. Illustrations take the zine further- illustrating what we can’t say, putting visuals to thoughts and emotions and making it beautiful. Ana Galvañ, Danielle Chuatico and Grace Helmer are just three of the contributing illustrators.
“Happiness is all about figuring out how to savour the life you have right now”
It might make you cry. It might make you smile. It might make you raid the cupboards, head to supermarket and whip up one of the recipes.