Drawing Justin

Last week I took a big gulp and deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts. It was terrifying but I am happy to report it was the best thing I could have done. My only contact with people now are in person or by email or text, and I have found in-person people to be much more enjoyable than online people (unless they’re in a car). I’m reading stacks of books, listening to new podcasts, walking lots and hanging with friends.  Continue reading

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I Am More July Displays

The original sixteen I Am More portraits and essays have begun their journey into spaces where they will be of most benefit to the public, thanks to the generosity of a variety of Cape Ann organizations and businesses. The priority of this month is to give seasonal spaces the opportunity to participate in the project. Continue reading

I Am More: Jessica

When I met Jessica, we talked about her childhood, her schooling, her passion for helping others and speaking about her disorder, but when she brought up Journey, her emotional support animal, her entire demeanor changed. It was clear that Journey had been a major part of her healing path. Sadly, Journey had to be put to sleep in December of 2017, so it seemed appropriate to use the portrait as a way of honoring their relationship and her memory: Continue reading

Messages of Love

It’s been 24 hours of naps, laundry, dog snuggles, Incredibles 2, all to absorb the weekend of the I Am More opening exhibit. I could sleep another week but there’s lots to do because the public wants MORE.

With Chris Cho’s music playing in the background, I tried my best to listen to each person – their stories of loss, depression, sexual assault, bullying. I listened to parents and grandparents, terrified for family members  who needed help. I watched the same faces return day after day with new friends and family, once to read the words, once more to just look at the faces. Continue reading

Hold On

Full disclosure, it is not easy planning a mental health awareness event in the wake of this week’s news. For eighteen months I’ve sat with individuals, heard their stories, studied their faces, edited their words. It has been grueling and triumphant, depending on the day. Coming into the home stretch my plan was to stay calm, stay focused. Continue reading

I Am More: Ryan M

Ryan came into my life when I was trying to find portrait subjects for I Am More in Worcester. A friend reached out to him for leads, and I suddenly had a complete stranger advocating for the project, contacting organizations and individuals who might be able to help. Soon he experienced what I had been coping with for weeks – dead ends. So many dead ends, that he apologetically offered to “throw his own hat in the ring” if I needed him to. That was a big YES from me and soon I was sitting in his apartment listening to this story: Continue reading

I Am More: Carol

Carol is a beloved former neighbor of my parents. She moved in next to them after I was long gone, and for years I heard about the joy she brought to that little corner of my old neighborhood–the laughter, the flowers and the friendship. It wasn’t until after she was planning her move back to Massachusetts that she heard about my project and a thread of recognition formed between us. A year later we were drinking tea in her new livingroom in Westborough and she told me this story: Continue reading