May 01, 2024

Hope Starts With Us: Episode 44

As Mental Health Awareness Month begins, NAMI is talking about ways to take the moment for our mental health. Guest host Alessandra Torresani is joined by artist Alex Alpert to explore how art can act as a coping strategy when faced with mental health challenges. The pair also discusses how communication and community can be keys to navigating life, especially when diagnosed with mental health conditions.

You can find additional episodes of this NAMI podcast and others at

We hope this podcast encourages you, inspires you, helps you and brings you further into the collective to know: you are not alone.

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Episode Audio:


Episode Video:




Featured Guest:

Alex Alpert

Alex Alpert

Twitter/X: AlexAlpert6
Instagram: @Alex.Alpert

Alex Alpert is an artist, creator, mental health advocate, and ambassador for NAMI. Based out of New York City, Alex also works as a Creative Director with several brands.

Working as a street artist while studying music in school, Alex went on to build a career at Universal Music Group. Here, he excelled in brand partnerships, marketing, and artist relations.

While at UMG, he expanded his practice as a visual artist. He began by making pieces for the musicians he was working with and creating live art during concerts and events. After a few years, he was painting murals around the country, drawing live at huge events, and collaborating with major brands and celebrities. Alex will create a live art piece at NAMICon 2024.


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Episode Transcript:

00:00:00:02 –
Alex Alpert
It’s really important just to like not be hyper focused on whatever the result
is of what you’re creating or doing or anything. You just kind of do it. And a
lot of times, I mean, go figure, like when I start doing art that way, that’s
when people really liked it and responded to it because I think they recognized
that I enjoyed it and I was proud of it.

00:00:20:10 – 00:00:46:09
Alessandra Torresani
Welcome to Hope starts with us, a podcast by NAMI, the National Alliance on
Mental Illness. I am your guest host, NAMI Ambassador Alessandra Torresani. We
started this podcast because we believe that hope starts with us. Hope starts
with us talking about mental health. Hope starts with us making information
accessible. Hope starts with us providing resources and practical advice.

00:00:46:11 – 00:01:10:02
Alessandra Torresani
Hope starts with us sharing our stories. Hope starts with us breaking the
stigma. If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health condition and
have been looking for help, we made this podcast for you. Hope starts with all
of us. Hope is a collective and we hope that each episode with each
conversation brings you into that collective to know you are not alone.

00:01:10:05 – 00:01:36:15
Alessandra Torresani
Today we are here with the fabulous Alex Alpert. I’m so excited to be having
this conversation with you. You are a new ambassador to the NAMI NAMI
Collective, and as an older ambassador, I feel like this is a really great
match because I get to learn so much about you and hear your story and hear why
mental health is so important to you.

00:01:36:20 – 00:01:43:04
Alessandra Torresani
So first and foremost. Alex Something that I always ask everyone is, How are
you really?

00:01:43:06 – 00:02:06:10
Alex Alpert
That’s great. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. Very excited. I’m pretty
good. I’m pretty good. Have some fun, exciting stuff happening professionally.
And I’m trying to balance it kind of with how I am mentally and doing an okay
job lately. It’s always kind of ups and downs as a creative and as an artist.
So kind of like riding those and managing that.

00:02:06:12 – 00:02:12:02
Alex Alpert
But overall feeling pretty good. I’m just excited and happy to be a part of
this and speaking with you.

00:02:12:02 – 00:02:29:22
Alessandra Torresani
Oh, I’m so excited. I feel like I did a little research of myself on you that
sounded like really like stalkerish, but no, it wasn’t. I was so curious. And I
discovered your art. And your art is so fabulous and so amazing. So can you
tell me a little bit about that first?

00:02:30:00 – 00:02:47:11
Alex Alpert
Sure. Yeah. So I’ve been making art my whole life, and it’s actually always
kind of been tied to mental health. It was kind of a way for me to express
myself when I was younger. My kind of specialty is this kind of freestyled,
improvizational drawing that’s, I don’t really plan it too much and it’s really
kind of just from my subconscious.

00:02:47:12 – 00:02:57:16
Alex Alpert
As a result, it’s really kind of whatever I’m feeling at the time or, you know,
things that I have on my mind. So I’ve been doing that since I was a kid. It
was doodling when I was in class, when I was younger.

00:02:57:17 – 00:03:13:13
Alessandra Torresani
Did you ever get in trouble for doodling? Like I remember there were so many
kids. I am not artistic by any means. Like when it comes to with my, you know,
hands, like doing art. And I’m telling you, there are kids next to me that were
so skilled, but they would get in so much trouble. And I’m like, just let them
be. them.

00:03:15:05 – 00:03:42:23
Alex Alpert
No, it’s true. They didn’t like it. My teachers used to scold me for it, and I
like to joke now, I’ve been like going back to these schools and like, speaking
to the art students and stuff like that, and they’ll be like, You turned out
okay. So yeah, art was an outlet for me then and kind of as time went on, I
worked in a few different industries and learned more about kind of like
business and marketing and very kind of slowly turned it into a full time

00:03:43:00 – 00:04:02:06
Alex Alpert
Started with my artwork on shoes. That was like a big part of my business for a
while. I worked in the music industry, so I would make like custom shoes for a
lot of the artists I was working with. And then I would start doing murals and
things like that around the city and kind of got into the street art scene,
which was a cool way of getting my stuff out there more.

00:04:02:06 – 00:04:23:09
Alex Alpert
And all this same kind of like illustration, kind of like line art style, which
just makes it easy for me to kind of just do it off the cuff and yeah, just
kind of grew and I was lucky to be able to start working with a lot of brands
and companies who have kind of collaborated with me on different projects

00:04:23:11 – 00:04:44:20
Alessandra Torresani
Did it kind of come all out of like all at once where it was very overwhelming,
where you’re like, Oh, whoa, I went from doodling in math class to now I’m like
doodling on McLaren’s and like, on billboards and like, famous people shoes’.
Like, was it kind of a really big jump for you or was it gradual enough where
you were able to be like, okay, this is just what it is?

00:04:44:20 – 00:05:13:05
Alex Alpert
I wouldn’t say wasn’t overwhelming because it still is often, but it was very
gradual for me. I kind of like very almost kind of methodically, like was able
to start charging more in like reaching out to more companies and take on more
of a workload. So I’m thankful that it was kind of gradual, which I think made
me able to deal with it more. Not that being a full time artist doesn’t still
come with tons of anxieties and insecurities and stuff like that.

00:05:13:05 – 00:05:28:19
Alessandra Torresani
I’m sure, because the thing with art, right, is like with any artist in any
field, and I speak like as an actress, right? Like I’m going to say from my
point of view, it’s you, right? It’s your baby. It’s like you’re giving
yourself up. And I feel like you’re giving a little piece of yourself to
someone every time.

00:05:28:19 – 00:05:37:08
Alessandra Torresani
And I can only imagine how much more intense it is as an artist, because it’s
like these are literally your visions coming to life.

00:05:37:10 – 00:06:02:01
Alex Alpert
Yeah, there’s definitely something to that. You have to be vulnerable. I think
it is very similar to acting or performing in a lot of ways, and I also like to
kind of think of it like similar to a lot of other businesses too. It’s the
same struggles of being an entrepreneur, starting your own company, things like
that. It’s really all on you comes down to your ability to handle this project
and that project.

00:06:02:01 – 00:06:07:11
Alex Alpert
it’s a lot of like power in being in that position though, it’s cool.

00:06:07:15 – 00:06:24:21
Alessandra Torresani
There’s a lot of power that you hold like a lot, which can be overwhelming. It
can be a lot of people say you get imposter syndrome from that because all of a
sudden it’s like you’re things that you were, you know, just designing for
funsies are now like, actually they have a worth, they have a value of money on

00:06:24:21 – 00:06:34:06
Alessandra Torresani
And that puts a lot of pressure. And it’s like, how can you decide that what
something is worth? It’s a lot. So what was kind of the moment for you where
you were like, Oh, I’ve made it?

00:06:34:06 – 00:06:55:15
Alex Alpert
I think when I started to book like my first really big brand partnerships, I
kind of leaned into this like commercial side of art more than the fine art,
because I really like it. Like I enjoy kind of collaborating with companies and
telling like, a companies story. And I’m not really one of those artists who’s
like, my work needs to look a certain way.

00:06:55:17 – 00:07:02:07
Alex Alpert
Which is why I do a lot of like collaborative art stuff to I’m excited I’m
gonna do something like that at the NAMICON.

00:07:02:08 – 00:07:04:17
Alessandra Torresani
Oh, cool.

00:07:04:19 – 00:07:19:19
Alex Alpert
Kind of like a mural where I’m doing art, but I’m inviting other people to come
and add to it. And I think that kind of describes my feelings towards it. It
like doesn’t need to be totally my vision. It can be like this collaborative
thing where everybody feels like part of it.

00:07:19:19 – 00:07:20:04
Alessandra Torresani
Wow, that’s awesome.

00:07:21:21 – 00:07:44:14
Alex Alpert
And that’s kind of lent itself to like company work too, because obviously you
have a lot of opinions and people want input and I’m open to that. So I got a
partnership deal with Nike and Red Bull and some of these companies that it was
a different kind of contract where I was like, okay, this is something I can
support myself on and you know,, make my full time gig.

00:07:44:16 – 00:07:54:22
Alex Alpert
And I’ve been lucky to have a good amount of those in a few down the pipeline
that make me feel secure enough to be like, okay, this is growing. Sure.

00:07:54:23 – 00:08:01:15
Alessandra Torresani
What about your family? Did they ever feel like, Oh my God, like, how can you
support yourself as an artist?

00:08:01:17 – 00:08:10:07
Alex Alpert
He’s quitting his job to be full time. Yeah, it was a thing. I mean, I’m lucky
my parents are both very creative. My mom was an opera singer.

00:08:10:07 – 00:08:11:20
Alessandra Torresani

00:08:11:21 – 00:08:19:08
Alex Alpert
Yeah and a singing teacher. So I, like, grew up with her giving singing lessons
in my house.

00:08:19:10 – 00:08:23:15
Alessandra Torresani
Oh, my gosh. Okay, so you must have heard a lot of bad singers, too?

00:08:23:16 – 00:09:00:23
Alex Alpert
Yeah, a lot of singers. Yeah. I heard all sorts. All sorts. But my mom made
them better. Yeah.. My dad is a journalist, a writer, so, you know, definitely
supportive of the arts. And going back to how I was as a student, I wasn’t the
best student academically. I just, it never was very important to me. But I had
these creative skills that I think my parents realized that’s more his scene
and we should support him in developing those talents because clearly math
isn’t as much his thing.

00:09:01:01 – 00:09:19:14
Alessandra Torresani
But I think that that’s a wonderful and I think that it’s I hear so many
stories of supportive parents but then I hear so many stories of people who are
unsupportive of children, whatever their goal is, of whatever they want to do,
whatever their passion is. And I think that that’s so hard when you don’t have
a support system around you.

00:09:19:14 – 00:09:44:03
Alessandra Torresani
I’m a really firm believer in community and like if you have parents that are
supportive, great. But you know, if you don’t, then find, you know, friends
find, you know, even strangers that you can bond with like other artists, you
know, that can be there for you because truly community is so important, that
bond is so important for us to grow as humans physically and mentally and be
the best versions of ourselves that we possibly can be.

00:09:44:03 – 00:09:50:14
Alessandra Torresani
So hearing that you already have that support is such a blessing and it’s so
fantastic. That’s so wonderful.

00:09:50:16 – 00:10:10:04
Alex Alpert
Thanks, yeah, you’re 100% right. I’m very lucky that way. To your point, I’ve
met artists from all backgrounds and all levels of support, and I also kind of
make it a priority, like I do a lot of educational stuff. I work with the New
York Children’s Museum and these different educational institutions, because a
lot of public schools and stuff are losing their art programs.

00:10:10:04 – 00:10:28:05
Alex Alpert
So there’s like less and less support and people who want to pursue these
things. So I think it’s really important that I kind of put myself out there
and be like, you can pursue art and make money and like be relatively
successful. And I think that’s a lot of parents who haven’t been exposed to
that or don’t know that.

00:10:28:05 – 00:10:37:19
Alex Alpert
Of course, they’ll be a little scared if their kid wants to pursue this thing
they don’t really know about. So I think it’s I’m trying to show that there’s
so many different ways to-

00:10:37:21 – 00:10:56:03
Alessandra Torresani
There’s so many different ways. And I think that’s so awesome that you’re
working with the New York Children’s Museum because the arts is going away and
it’s so scary how fast it’s going away and people are not paying attention and
it just feels like this lost thing that’s going to be gone in a few
generations. And it’s like, no, like this is what helps people.

00:10:56:04 – 00:11:17:21
Alessandra Torresani
I mean, when you think of all the artists in the world, like now just kind of
transitioning into like mental health, like you think of all these famous world
renowned artists that all lived with mental illnesses that lived, and this was
their way of expressing themselves. And it’s like, how would they have been
able to express themselves if they didn’t have their art, you know, you just
wonder these things.

00:11:17:21 – 00:11:32:20
Alessandra Torresani
So it’s so wonderful that you’re doing so much work. Now, how did you get
involved with NAMI? How did you first hear of NAMI and what was your first
reaction to it? Were you like, Oh my God, Like, where have you been all my
life? Like, that’s how I was.

00:11:32:22 – 00:11:53:01
Alex Alpert
Yeah. I mean, so mental health is always been big in my life. There’s a lot of
mental health issues in my families, a lot of depression, anxiety, things like
that. And I’ve been diagnosed depressed since I was like ten, you know, in and
out of therapy. So always a very, oh, also lucky my parents are pretty
conscious and open about that stuff.

00:11:53:01 – 00:12:14:20
Alex Alpert
And so I didn’t feel like it was such a stigma growing up in the same way I
have with the art. I’ve tried to be open about it and try to set an example of
like, you can function just fine and this stuff. And so I’ve always kind of had
mental health on my radar, just obviously in my life, but also just in the
world around me. And I first heard about NAMI,

00:12:14:20 – 00:12:40:19
Alex Alpert
I was doing one of those collaborative art projects back in 2020, I believe
2020, 2021, and brought together a bunch of artists who we all added to like
one big canvas and the theme around what we added was like mental health
related, whatever that meant to the artist. Yeah, it was fun and it came out
into this really cool group piece that looked awesome.

00:12:40:20 – 00:12:57:09
Alex Alpert
We were able to auction it off and raise a good amount of money and we donated
the proceeds to NAMI and that was, it was funny, I, I just hadn’t known about
NAMI for a long time prior to that, but I quickly did a lot of research and
really liked what they were doing. So it seemed like the right fit.

00:12:57:09 – 00:13:18:04
Alex Alpert
And then once that project was over, I just kind of stayed in touch and went to
an event here in New York when they released their book and met a lot of great
people. So I stayed in touch with the team and they’ve been awesome. And it’s
interesting as my art has kind of progressed too, and I’ve made mental health
like a very strong part of it.

00:13:18:04 – 00:13:28:13
Alex Alpert
I think there’s like more opportunities than ever to like, bring in the
companies that I’m working with or the other artists that I work with. This
touches everybody, mental health in some way so-

00:13:28:13 – 00:13:47:13
Alessandra Torresani
Well, and I feel like with art, I think that’s such an amazing way for you to
not only express yourself with your own mental health and your own struggles
and your own stuff, but there’s such an ease with art where you can have these
intense, you know, subjects right, and these conversations, but you don’t have
to talk, you know?

00:13:47:13 – 00:14:12:21
Alessandra Torresani
And I think that that’s what’s so nice and I think how special it’s going to be
at NAMICON to have this big art piece and everyone’s coming in painting and
giving a little bit of themselves because that’s what community is kind of all
about. Did you ever get you know, nervous when you were younger? Like, I’m I
guess I’m always so curious because I live with bipolar one disorder and I was
not properly diagnosed until I was 21, 22, and I’m going to be 37 now.

00:14:12:21 – 00:14:33:11
Alessandra Torresani
So that was like a long time now that I’ve been living with this. But still
it’s so fresh and so new to me. When you were younger and you were diagnosed
with depression when you were ten, was that a kind of a scary thought? I just,
I kind of want to touch to parents and also to maybe kids who are a little bit
younger, who are listening that are maybe scared of the unknown.

00:14:33:11 – 00:14:40:13
Alessandra Torresani
Like, what was that kind of experience for you being so young and experiencing
mental health like that?

00:14:40:13 – 00:15:04:09
Alex Alpert
My parents were very supportive and very educated about, especially for their
generation. They’d both been in therapy pretty much their whole lives. I was
grateful that it didn’t feel like a big deal, you know, when I was going to see
a therapist at a young age. The scary part was just how I felt. I remember
being young and just, you know, just extremely negative for how old I

00:15:04:09 – 00:15:20:01
Alex Alpert
It’s interesting. I think like that was probably like some of my lowest points
was when I was a really young kid and I’ve done a lot of work to kind of, I’m
much more functional than I was when I was a kid. But it’s kind of interesting.
I feel like it happens later in life for a lot of people, but for me, it was a

00:15:20:02 – 00:15:44:11
Alex Alpert
when I was young. It was hard. I mean, and it’s weird looking back to like
thinking about how it might have affected my development in certain ways and
maybe steering me towards creative things because it was a way of coping when I
was younger. But it also taught me a lot. I was in therapy and getting help,
but I also even like subconsciously did a lot of work on how to deal with fears
that was happening.

00:15:44:12 – 00:15:57:01
Alex Alpert
And I think it’s really made me pretty good at dealing with that stuff. It was
it was hard and it is it’s scary. I mean, especially, like when you get to the
psychiatrist and then you’re getting treatment and things like that, like it’s

00:15:57:03 – 00:16:17:04
Alessandra Torresani
Well being in a doctor is like scary enough for a kid. So I feel like even if
you are used to going to a therapist and stuff it’s a scary experience. Even
though I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 21, there were signs like I went to a
hypnotherapist at five years old because they were trying everything they could
because I had so many different issues that kept like coming up and they didn’t
understand what it was.

00:16:17:04 – 00:16:34:23
Alessandra Torresani
And I had talked to a therapist and I don’t know if it was like a generational
thing. I think you’re younger than me by a lot, but I’m not sure. But I don’t
know. But, you know, I think that people just didn’t know how to diagnose
bipolar disorder at that time. And I was diagnosed depressed when I was

00:16:34:23 – 00:17:09:06
Alessandra Torresani
And they put me on antidepressants, which made my highs higher, my lows lower,
and it was worse for me. So I feel like that’s the other struggle when you deal
with mental illness is you’re misdiagnosed so many different times. And that’s
part of the battle, too. And that’s why it’s so important that you have a
community around you or you have at least one person that you can talk to, that
you can be completely open and honest with because it’s scary, you know, and
you feel almost like you’re this mouse that’s getting tested on as a science
experiment over and over when people are just trying to help, you know?

00:17:09:06 – 00:17:28:04
Alessandra Torresani
But that can be really scary as a child. Since you work with so many children
now, do you ever share your story about how you know you were living with
depression when you were very younger, or have you ever had kids that have
approached you that have been like, Hey, I’m feeling this way, You know, since
you’re in kind of that world right now?

00:17:28:08 – 00:17:32:20
Alex Alpert
Totally. Yeah. I try to be open about it. I don’t, I try not to like-

00:17:32:20 – 00:17:36:03
Alessandra Torresani
You don’t want to, like, trauma it out, you know, and be like, blah!

00:17:36:05 – 00:18:03:19
Alex Alpert
Yeah, but it’s interesting. I find that there’s a strong amount of overlap
between kids who might be struggling with things like that, and kids who are
really getting into art because, I think it is a common coping skill, it’s a
common way for kids to express themselves when they can’t necessarily do it
verbally. So I find myself, like in those kinds of conversations and stuff,
just by virtue of being surrounded by artists, and not just kids, people my age
and older as well.

00:18:03:19 – 00:18:21:17
Alex Alpert
So yeah, I try to be very open about it. I think we are relatively lucky
because people are really starting to address it and be more open about it.
When we were younger and now at this point I feel like people are really a lot
more open about it, which makes me really hopeful that it’s only going to get
more that way.

00:18:21:18 – 00:18:28:13
Alex Alpert
Obviously people have diagnoses and illnesses and things like that, but I’m
also of the belief that everybody’s got some stuff going on.

00:18:28:14 – 00:18:57:19
Alessandra Torresani
Everyone’s got some stuff, and even if it’s not, a full mental health like
break down, you know, we just are dealing with stress and anxiety from the
world around us, from the amount of, you know, screens that we have in front of
our face. I have a now almost two year old and I’m so conscious and I’m so
overly aware of not even just like screen time, but just like the effects of
like when she’s around certain things and certain energies. I’m not trying to
like, put it on her, you know what I mean?

00:18:57:19 – 00:19:16:00
Alessandra Torresani
But I know that bipolar disorder is something that is genetic. So it’s
something that I’m like watching for. But, you know, my mom even says it like
she’s like, I’m so lucky that we were able to go through the things and the
steps that we went through with you, because if this were something to arise in
Lady, that’s my daughter’s name.

00:19:16:04 – 00:19:43:22
Alessandra Torresani
If something were to arise in her, we would be able to find a solution so fast
and be able to help her where it would not be this 22 year long struggle of
trying to figure out what the issue is. So I think that like unfortunately,
there’s so many people who are living with these chronic illnesses, but at
least we have now resources and more doctors and more specialists out there
that can help out and different types of modalities.

00:19:44:00 – 00:19:59:06
Alessandra Torresani
And speaking of that, like what is something that you do for your mental health
other than the obvious? I feel like art, which is completely, you know, your
main thing, is there something that you do that maybe someone could take your
advice on and maybe take a little piece of that?

00:19:59:06 – 00:20:02:02
Alex Alpert
Sure. I really love walking and just getting outside.

00:20:02:02 – 00:20:05:04
Alessandra Torresani
Sure, and what a great place to be in New York, hours of entertainment.

00:20:05:06 – 00:20:26:21
Alex Alpert
I know it is perfect for that and I’ll turn it into something of like an
awareness situation, because what I do is kind of like ruminate on an anxiety
or something and just get really in my head. That’s kind of how it manifests.
So it’s kind of important for me to like, get outside, walk around, make myself
get out of my head and like, pay attention to what’s around me.

00:20:26:21 – 00:20:47:01
Alex Alpert
It’s funny, New York is perfect for that, but at the same time, it’s can be
difficult because there’s so much everywhere that like it’s a lot of noise and
just every people, everything. So I think the bodies defense mechanisms it’ll
kind of like close it all off. I have to kind of like fight that and like
really pay attention to certain things.

00:20:47:03 – 00:21:12:07
Alex Alpert
So that kind of like awareness and like trying to just put myself into the
present is really important for me. I think having, you know, you mentioned
this earlier, just like people who kind of get you and support you is super
important. So I have a really great girlfriend and family members and some
close friends who are super supportive and I can reach out to and communicate
with when I’m not feeling great.

00:21:12:10 – 00:21:21:12
Alex Alpert
Those things are really important. Obviously, the arts. The art too, is like, I
don’t think you need to be a professional artist to get some benefit.

00:21:21:16 – 00:21:31:14
Alessandra Torresani
You could go to color me mine and just paint like a ceramic duck and you know,
call it a day and you will feel so much better.

00:21:31:15 – 00:21:50:18
Alex Alpert
It’s true, yeah, I‘m also one of those people who’s like, I think everybody’s
an artist. People get in their heads about like how their hand moves or
whatever, but there are ways to like once you really trust yourself and just
like don’t really care about the result, it can be super beneficial. Just like
making something. It can be a duck, it can be a doodle on a paper.

00:21:50:21 – 00:22:10:21
Alex Alpert
When I was a kid, I used to make more like realism. I would do like portraits
and landscapes and things like that, and it didn’t make me happy. I would get
really caught up in it, needing to look a certain way and being a perfectionist
and then when I went back to this kind of like early style of just like
freestyle drawing, like don’t really care about the result, you can’t make a
mistake and it’s just fun.

00:22:11:00 – 00:22:35:15
Alex Alpert
And I think that’s a really good parallel to like a lot of things. Like
sometimes it’s really important just to like not be hyper focused on whatever
the result is of what you’re creating or doing or anything. You just kind of do
it. And a lot of times, I mean, go figure, like when I start doing my art that
way, that’s when people really liked it and responded to it, because I think
they recognized that I enjoyed it and I was proud of it.

00:22:35:18 – 00:22:40:01
Alessandra Torresani
You were passionate about it and it was just it was just coming from your heart
and your soul.

00:22:40:01 – 00:22:56:10
Alex Alpert
Exactly. I mean, and if you feel good about it. I think people respond to that.
And I think that applies to a lot of things, not just art, you know, it applies
to your everyday work and business. It can apply to what you’re cooking, you
can apply to your relationship, to whatever.

00:22:56:11 – 00:23:18:16
Alessandra Torresani
And it could apply to love. And speaking of love, like, this is a question that
I get asked a lot when I go on Mental Health podcasts because I talk about it a
lot on my own podcast. But when I first was diagnosed, I had shared with people
that I was living with bipolar one disorder, and then I started realizing that
a lot of guys that I was dating, were holding it against me.

00:23:18:16 – 00:23:39:12
Alessandra Torresani
They’d be like, Oh, you’re crazy. And it’s because of this. And it’s like, No,
that’s not why, but okay, you know, certain things. So I was really scared to
open up and to talk about it. And then I was single for a little bit, for a
year and a half, and I thought to myself, the next person that I date, I’m
going to be open and to be honest, right off the bat, because I don’t want to
hide this anymore.

00:23:39:14 – 00:23:58:13
Alessandra Torresani
And when I met my husband, the second sentence I ever said to him was, by the
way I live with bipolar disorder. So you either deal with it or you don’t. And
he was like, okay, fine. And what? You know, like it was not a big deal to him.
And it’s something that we’ve had to obviously work on together because of, you
know, me having a baby and living with all this.

00:23:58:13 – 00:24:16:03
Alessandra Torresani
What is a story of like how you dealt with your mental illness and your mental
health and sharing that in relationships? How do you ever get to a place where
you’re finally comfortable, you know, or is it the right person? Kind of what
is your experience with dating and with love and mental health?

00:24:16:03 – 00:24:41:18
Alex Alpert
I also choose to normally be really open. I think it’s important anybody that
you’re gonna want to end up spending your life with should be able to
understand you and kind of work with you through those things. What I found
personally is my history of treatment and speaking through my problems and
being made to be vulnerable, which you have to be when you’re in therapy or
with, you know, just kind of working your way through these mental

00:24:41:20 – 00:25:10:06
Alex Alpert
In some ways, it’s kind of like good relationship superpower. It makes you very
empathetic, It makes you very self-aware. It makes you very understanding of
your partner, which I think is really important. I found like communication is
like the most important thing when it comes to a relationship because you’re
going to have issues you need to work with and ups and downs and your ability
to work through them and support one another is key for it to work.

00:25:10:08 – 00:25:40:23
Alex Alpert
So yeah, I mean, definitely when I was younger I was a little more nervous to
kind of be open. But as time has gone on and I’ve also kind of gotten a better
grasp on it and been more open and stuff like that, I think it’s become like
something I’m kind of like proud of. In a weird way because I can be like,
Yeah, like I have these, these things that could be holding me back, but I’m
dealing with them and I think it like makes me a more sensitive and
communicative person.

00:25:41:05 – 00:25:55:14
Alex Alpert
So yeah, I guess I try to own it and not saying there aren’t still struggles
frequently with everything and with my mood and whatever. But yeah, you
definitely need to communicate that it’s something about you because otherwise
they won’t really know where it’s coming from.

00:25:55:18 – 00:26:09:14
Alessandra Torresani
100% communication is the key to everything. Honestly, communication and
community, those are the to the two CS. I like that. Well, Alex, I have two
more questions for you. One question is what is the future look like for

00:26:09:16 – 00:26:31:00
Alex Alpert
Oh man, I want to keep growing the art. I have some really cool and exciting
projects coming out soon, which I’m excited for people to see, but it’s going
to be more internationally visible, which I’m excited about, just kind of
getting exposure. So that’s, I think gonna really help kind of accelerate and
help keep putting my stuff out there.

00:26:31:00 – 00:26:52:05
Alex Alpert
I want to keep getting my art in different places like I’ve been loving doing
murals. I want to keep doing those like public art stuff. I’ve been loving the
brand and fashion collaborations, so I’m going to keep doing those in the works
of like creating my own line of stuff with art work on it. So in terms of like
my art and my business, I think there’s a lot of cool, exciting stuff.

00:26:52:05 – 00:27:15:17
Alex Alpert
But I’m also really excited about how I can hopefully use that to help things
like NAMI, Children’s Museum, like the philanthropy and educational part of
what I do is kind of like what makes me the happiest. I definitely get a lot of
satisfaction obviously out of like a good deal or a cool project, but in the
back of my head I’m also like, how can I use this to hopefully help

00:27:15:17 – 00:27:25:08
Alex Alpert
Either to art who are struggling with something that I’ve struggled with. So
I’m excited to keep pushing projects ahead that could benefit. NAMI or-

00:27:25:13 – 00:27:47:08
Alessandra Torresani
Well, you know, and the best thing about your art is that, what at least is
speaking as someone who’s not an artist, who loves artists and loves art is you
get exposure all over the world and like now with social media, things can just
like go completely viral and you could see a piece, you know, one of your
murals out on display or something, and someone all the way in Japan could see
it and they fall in love with it.

00:27:47:08 – 00:28:08:09
Alessandra Torresani
And so I think that that’s what’s so cool about art is it’s worldwide. You
don’t need to speak a language. It’s just beauty. You know what I mean? And it
speaks to you however you see that piece. So I think that that’s what’s really
special is all ages are going to be able to understand it. And so what a way to
be able to grow and meet more people like throughout the years.

00:28:08:09 – 00:28:10:10
Alessandra Torresani
I think that that’s just so cool.

00:28:10:15 – 00:28:18:22
Alex Alpert
Thanks. Yeah, I hope so. I’m just going to keep it, keep it going and yeah,
see, know it grows, but it’s fun.

00:28:19:00 – 00:28:27:09
Alessandra Torresani
I’m glad you having fun. My final question is a question that I ask on my
podcast, so I thought I would ask on this one is what is your emotional

00:28:27:13 – 00:28:51:21
Alex Alpert
I mean, the obvious answer is like my art and creative expression. Even when
I’m not drawing, I used to play a lot of music. So now that my visual arts is
kind of my job, I found like playing guitar is now more of a emotional outlet
for me. So that’s a really good way of doing that. And then, yeah, it’s like
being with people who understand me and care about me really supports me

00:28:51:23 – 00:28:53:11
Alex Alpert
My family…

00:28:53:11 – 00:28:57:00
Alessandra Torresani
You’re like, I got a whole bag of emotional support that I need at all

00:28:57:02 – 00:29:12:20
Alex Alpert
You need it. And you know, in certain times you’ll feel some type of way and
you need this kind of support. And then other times you feel a different kind
of way in a different way. And it’s good to have a versatile set of things to
kind of be able to help you.

00:29:12:20 – 00:29:16:19
Alessandra Torresani
Yeah. Oh, my gosh. 100%. Well, thank you so much, Alex.



About the Host:

Dan Gillison

Alessandra Torresani

Follow on Twitter/X: @ALTorresani
Follow on Instagram: @AlessandraTorresani

Alessandra Torresani is an actress, creative, entrepreneur, mental health spokesperson, and ambassador for NAMI. Alessandra has appeared in “Batwoman,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Step Sisters,” and more. She lives with bipolar disorder and shares her personal experiences in the hope that they will help others feel brave enough to stand up and share their stories. Alessandra also hosts the podcast “Emotional Support,” where she aims to create a safe place to share stories of mental health and illness.

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