Chronically Creative #2: Sarah Olevsky on art and healing

Spoonie greetings! It's time for the second post in our Chronically Creative series, and this one (much like the first) is an awesome one! This week our topic is art and healing so we're joined by Sarah Olevsky. Sarah is an artist from North Carolina who's responsible for such gems as The Self Care Crew Colouring Book [Tom: I really really want one of these!], and other stunning works of art that you'll see throughout the post.

If you like what you read and see, be sure to go and check Sarah out on Etsy HERE, (This is where you'll find Tom's favourite colouring book!) and her Instagram HERE to follow her art and other work on mental health and self care!

Hayley and Tom


Hi! I'm Sarah, an artist in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I’m passionate about mental health and self-care. Art is an essential part of my daily life and self-care routine, but it hasn't always been such a natural, therapeutic process of self-exploration, understanding and expression for me.

You see, at sixteen years old, I shut the world out. I had just experienced a traumatic assault that would result in over a decade of anxiety and depression. At my lowest point, I developed an eating disorder that nearly claimed my life. If I hadn’t received the help I needed, I might not be here today to support others in their mental health journeys.

In the beginning of my recovery, I began doodling in a sketchbook to distract myself from the long days in treatment. It was a mindless escape that would help consume the time. Each day I stared down the long hallway leading to my doctor’s offices hoping I could muster up the strength to walk down it without having to stop to rest. I cried through therapy sessions feeling guilty for the hurt I believed I was causing everyone supporting me, while feeling shame for not being “better” faster. Between my mental and physical health both being at an all time low, I wasn't able to do much else.

Ocean - "After I experienced an assault, I became terrified of the ocean. Even watching a large wave curl on tv made me extremely anxious. It was really confusing for me because that the assault happened nowhere near an ocean. Painting helped me explore the connections my mind had made between the two. Beginning to understand my fears helped me start to overcome them".