Meet the Founder

As a suicide loss survivor, I know how hard it can be to get support. I have lost three family members to suicide. When my son died by suicide, I met a grief I never imagined. Drawing and painting was an important part of my grieving process, it helped me to process emotions and to relax.. Starting a creative support group for suicide survivors seemed like the right thing to do, and I found a willing partner in the Arizona Artists Guild.

We started free monthly art workshops for suicide survivors at the Artists Guild studio in Feb. 2018, guided by professional artists. Participants enjoy an afternoon creating art in an art studio setting. All supplies are provided and everyone takes their finished work home.

One participant said art class inspired her to make positive changes in her life. Another participant realized while making art she could talk about suicide without feeling sad. This is the power of creativity. Encouraged by the turn out and positive feedback, we want to provide more events to support as many people as we can reach. Come join us at art class in Phoenix, AZ. Or, you may want to start your own art group. Your Art Your Story supports the development of new art support groups in local communities. In partnership with ART 321, we developed a free Toolkit as a starting point for people interested in starting a group of their own. Please contact us at info@yourartyourstory.org and let us know how we can help. Together, let’s break the cycle of suicide with love, art and community.

Kristel Nielsen