For the month of November I hosted a panel of fellow bipolar advocates and led a discussion on the ties (or lack thereof) between depression, mania, and creativity. Each panelist came from a different artistic background and shared their own background, beliefs, and creative process.
Danielle Hark is a writer and artist who lives with PTSD and bipolar disorder. She is the founder of the non-profit Broken Light Collective that empowers people with mental health challenges using photography. Danielle works in a variety of creative mediums, including mixed media, assemblage, painting, photography, and poetry.
Sarah Jickling is a Canadian songstress and mental health advocate known for her candid look into uncomfortable subjects, served with an indie pop smile. In 2017, Sarah released her first solo album,When I Get Better, which documents her journey through bipolar recovery. Jickling’s idiosyncratic songs have been featured on radio stations across the country and in independent films, and she has opened up about her experiences with mental illness on radio, local television, podcasts, blogs and at live speaking events. Her latest album, The Family Curse, deals with intergenerational trauma and mental illness in families.
Michaela Donohue is a U.S. Army Veteran, healthcare worker and artist. Donohue currently works as a Medical Scheduler for a home healthcare company in San Diego, California and is an avid advocate for mental health awareness and medication compliance. Donohue is the 4th generation in her family to be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and spends much of her free time studying the illness since receiving her diagnosis in the fall of 2019. Donohue utilizes her chosen medium of spray paint on canvas to not only manage her symptoms, but to better understand the depth and complexity of her own emotions and feelings.