My background is in the arts and environmental education. This is my first book and it has been a deeply personal and empowering experience. I feel great empathy with the authors’ experiences of vulnerability, desperation and despair because of the similarities in my own life.
I have always used art and writing as a means of expressing and working things out and would recommend it to anyone as a way of exploring and understanding the pain (and joy) of life. I don’t think I’d be here without those creative tools. I am deeply impressed by the courage of these five women in sharing their stories and I hope that readers are moved and inspired by their boldness.
It has been a privilege, a challenge and a joy to be part of this project: a privilege to be so welcomed and acknowledged, a challenge to revisit painful themes, and a joy because it’s made my dream of being an illustrator into a reality.
Here is a slideshow of Jemma’s powerful artwork, featured in Five Lives: