There are 76 women featured in this image.
I drew all of them back in December 2012 as I was part of an online programme offered by Hannah Marcotti called The Joy Up, and being part of this community of Joy Sisters, I was given the honour of drawing those that stepped forward.
I thought maybe 5 or 6 would want this offering but the number kept on growing.
What started out as a bit of fun, turned into something incredibly healing and moving.
The illustrations were released daily and the comments that poured from all the other members of the group were truly beautiful.
Here, their light was being witnessed.
My way of drawing is what I like to call my 'dollystration' style - with the reflection of the individual mirrored back for all to see the light that shines from within them.
So today, I dedicate this blog post to all those women who meant so much to me, defining my process, weaving in the reiki symbols and supporting me along the way.
I have drawn over 350 women to date, about 40 men too (hoping to increase this soon!), families, colleagues in the workplace, friends, children, dogs, cats, horses, the list continues to grow and yet it all began here, with the 76 (there are actually only 75 as I drew Hannah twice).
I put together a short video back then to try to capture how it all evolved.
Let's bless the women and not forgot to bless our men too as they equally need a huge share of love and healing.
It's Mother's Day here in the UK today.
For me, mothering in this life is my two furkids, Luna Jack and Pudding Cat, so when I sat down with this illustration in my head and a blank piece of paper, my aim was to draw me, Luna and Pudding.
As pencil lines began and I had the figure of me (ish) the dog and cat (ish) suddenly, I was pulled to draw Mr Blackbird on my head, and in that moment I thought, I couldn't have Mr B without Mrs B. They're recurring visitors in our garden and sing us such beautiful songs.
It seemed the right thing to do.
Then I knew I wanted another dog in the mix, so I began to draw a lovely black girl, Leah the Lab.
Dogs done, my mind drifted to the thought of beautiful cows; I love cows and this is when Clarissa appeared - (I had just remembered that horrific picture of veal crates from a Facebook photo the other day. Laid out - rows upon rows, thousands and thousands of crates. It breaks my heart that we can be so incredibly cruel - no wonder humans treat each other the way they do.)
Anyway, back to this.
I then turned to Peggy Pig. I wanted to draw in some healing love for her, she is such a great mother and is such an intelligent sentient being - aren't they all?
She can't be all bad, for we use her heart valves to replace human heart valves.
In popped Eunice the Ewe, Hattie the Hedgehog, Delilah the Donkey and Gillian the Guinea Pig squealed that she wanted to be in on this one.
There really was a gathering happening here.
Not long after, Rowena the Rabbit and Cassie the Chicken appeared.
This whole drawing took me on a journey in saying Thank You to them and believe me, I could have gone ON and ON!!!!
Finally I realised that Sally the Salmon wanted an appearance and Olivia the Owl.
I adored creating this illustration.
Here is how it unfolded - just rough photos on the go!
The video below from Dove went viral.
They conducted a social experiment to look at women's perceptions of themselves versus how they are seen by others.
They provide a figure that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.
Wow, just 4%. That's amazingly LOW isn't it? But are you one of the 4%.
It resonated with me because in spending time creating Healing Soul Portraits I am looking at how women view themselves and in the experience and process that we have in our sessions, I reflect back to them what they don't see.
Aside from the fact that I'm not a big fan of Dove because they test on animals and I only buy BUAV approved or Vegan products, they have got a message to share, which I feel is important.
350 women have received one of my Healing Portraits and their comments have blown me away.
"I am absolutely stunned by the way you managed to capture me, more me than I could ever have captured myself.. You saw all of me. Parts of me I forgot were there." Angelina
"I was so excited. I thought it was the most unique idea, healing, life changing thing that I could do for myself. Seeing my Soul Portrait facing me in my room, gives me courage and strength and makes me love myself a little bit more." Angela
"I stepped out of my comfort zone and saw myself in a more positive light." Cristen
"I recognised myself, my inner essence, much more than seeing a photograph." Liz
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