003: Ben Nicholas and His Journey With Depression

John Villapando
Aug 24, 2018 · 3 min read
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“The Twins” By Ben Nicholas

“The last thing I want is for anyone to feel alone. No one should have to feel that way.”

We had the incredible privilege of interviewing Ben Nicholas back in March. After seeing such a positive response, and even before (re: during the interview), we thought — “Wow, this would be a great podcast.”

So we did just that. This is Ben’s story distilled into podcast form. We hope you gain just as much from it as we did.


SoundCloud Direct Link


Ben’s Links

Twitter: @belgianboolean

Website: BelgianBooleanCG.com


Email: BelgianBooleanCG@gmail.com

Other Links and Folks Mentioned in the Show

Liz Edwards

Patrick Wren

Jacob Stone

Alex Dracott

343 Industries

Creative Assembly

Ubisoft Montreal

Tim Schafer and Doublefine


0:57 — Post Intro

1:30 — Regarding the Previous Article

2:06 — “I wanted to be a journalist”

2:29 — Fun with Bryce5

3:24 — “I never considered myself an artist…”

4:16 — Embracing your influences

5:18 — Why I’m comfortable with Color

5:51 — “It wasn’t til halfway through Art School I realized, I’m an artist.”

6:03 — Politics would have made me miserable

7:09 — What got you into video games, what did you play

8:18 — The Mid 90s

8:40 — Telling Adult Stories with Video Games

10:20 — Wolfenstein, Doom, and Nirvana

11:34 — “I saw it as an art form very quickly…”

12:05 — The Perfect Storm of Inspiration: Family

12:22 — Owning Your Influences

13:15 — “Your problems started when you were a kid, and you’re constantly trying to undo what happened.”

13:50 — Returning to Childhood

14:21 — The Irony of the Need to Undo and Return

15:15 — “More of a Technician”

15:30 — Hanging Around the Hangar

16:15 — Old SciFi Books

18:20 — Owning What Happened to You as a Kid

20:10 — Growing Up In Church And Watching Alien

21:54 — Raised to be a Critical Thinker

22:23 — “My Journey with Depression”

23:30 — “Shell Shocked”

24:50 — “I always leaned towards being very sad.”

25:58 — I thought “That’s my normal.”

26:40 — Feeling Suicidal

27:38 — “I weighed 120 pounds.”

29:03 — The People Who Got Me Through (see links above)

29:30 — Starting at Adidas, Starting Therapy

30:14 — PTSD, Secondary PTSD, and Ben’s Dad

31:18 — The Repercussions of PTSD

32:30 — Why Am I So Insecure

33:00 — Leaving Adidas

33:33 — Getting Worse and Drinking

34:35 — “You Need to go to the Doctor”

35:24 — What It Means When We Say “Suicidal”

37:00 — New Medication & New Therapist

39:00 — Finishing at 343 and Moving to the UK

40:10 — Liz Edwards

40:40 — Going off my medication

41:22 — Regressing

42:04 — Sharing Depression Online

42:26 — Montreal & Ubisoft’s Supportive Structure

44:47 — Mental Health Today

45:37 — Another Pivotal Event

46:31 — Becoming More Vocal Online

47:13 — Realizing I wasn’t alone nor broken

48:00 — Why I talk about it

49:13 — The Problem with “Just Get Over It”

50:37 — Getting to know others’ stories

51:30 — Meeting other folks, Helping other folks

52:18 — Turns out being an artist in games is a rough business!

53:12 — Productivity while depressed

54:23 — What to do if you know someone who’s depressed

1:01:26 — “To Ben, who is not alone.”

1:02:55 — If You’re the One Struggling with Depression


1:08:25 — What’s Inspiring You?

1:16:20 — Making Game Art Representative of you and your inspirations

1:17:52 — THE GT PLUG! (We did not, in fact, pay him to do this).

1:19:52 — Contact Info

1:20:50 — The “other” Ben Nicholas

1:23:05 — Outro


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