ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 94-95

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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 | artisspectrum.com
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 | artisspectrum.com
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Jane Coco Cowles
I believe every person has the opportunity to shine. However, it is not easy for some to find that moment. I have had my
challenges. It took years for me to see that I could have that moment. That moment when I saw it was possible to shine
was awe-inspiring. Art and writing are more than just a passion for me. They have helped me overcome adversity. For me,
the creative process is a wonderful way to express the feelings which I am afraid to speak about. My writing began as a
healing process. As a child, books became friends, an adventure to escape from a sad childhood. I started to write
Mama
Blue
, a picture book that introduces children to the topic of depression, as a way to grieve the passing of my mother. As I
was writing, I thought no child should blame herself for a parents’ illness. It is horrible and shaming for a child (or anyone)
to feel she is the cause of another person’s unhappiness. I hope that
Mama Blue
(and books I hope to publish in the future)
opens a dialogue between parents and children and teachers and children. I plan to do book readings and discussions with
local schools and mental health associations. My next picture books will introduce children to anorexia and fear.
The Humanitarians
In addition to creating art and writing and
illustrating childrens’ books, I work with
Bounce Back Women, a not-for-profit
organization that helps women overcome
adversity. What I love most about Bounce
Back Women is having the opportunity to
give support to young women - support
that I would have loved to have had
when I was their age. Being a teenage
or twenty-something girl is so hard. I
know that I placed too much emphasis
on status and appearance. My quest for
external validation was exhausting. It took
a near-death experience for me to realize
that I could never be truly successful if I
did not love myself. I am happy that I can
share my story, my struggle with anorexia
and anxiety, with others. At first, I found
it humbling. Now I find it empowering
to think that I am not alone. We all face
some adversity. Taking the first step
is courageous. My goal is that my art,
writing and speaking will help some find
that awe-inspiring moment when you
see that you can shine.
My most recent art exhibition at Meli Melo in Greenwich Connecticut honors Corinne McCabe Kerins, my best friend, and
a woman who followed her dreams but whose life was cut short. Part of the proceeds of the sale of my art from this show
goes to benefit Bounce Back Women.
Meet two special artists whose contribution to humanitarian causes has brought welcome relief and assistance to
those in need.
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