It seems that everyone has issues and challenges in their lives. People may present themselves as “together”, “having it all” etc. When it comes down to it we all have our demons, self-doubt and insecurities.  I think this is exactly the place to find your artistic voice. Making art for yourself can be very therapeutic and rewarding. 

I teach Scientific Illustration at the University of Florida. It is a course for non-art majors. They come to me mostly with science backgrounds. This often intimidates them because they consider themselves “not an artist” and concerned that their drawing skills may not be “good enough” to get a “good “ grade. I get it, GPA’s for college students are important. My work around for this is allowing them to target a specific audience. 50% of their grade is based on how well they communicate to the audience the information in their drawings. For instance: One student who is studying to work with autistic adults created a black and white coloring book in a large format of butterflies to teach his audience anatomy and vocabulary. If the drawings had been too technical and small he would probably not have been able to communicate basic anatomy etc. Another student took the same project and made it into a dice and board game for children to match up caterpillars with the the correct butterfly. I want my students to think out of the box and create work that has meaning to them and reaches a diversity of people.

Recently I had a student come to me and ask if she could do her butterfly project as a pamphlet for people in recovery from eating disorders. At first I thought it might be a stretch and I wasn’t sure where she was going with it. I really liked the idea. I wanted to encourage her as she was “thinking outside of the box” and recommended she “go for it”, but cautioned her to maintain scientific accuracy in her drawings. What she turned in, was so remarkable. I was THRILLED and wanted to share it with you:

Introducing Monica Marrocco!

“Things I Wish I Knew in Recovery”

Monica’s Target Audience: My target audience is an anyone recovering from an eating disorder who may need helpful reminders to hold onto during hard times. I want to make a bunch of little booklets and leave them at counseling and wellness centers on campus.


The message in her text, the accuracy as well as the beautiful serene colors in her illustrations make this a winner. She took her own personal experiences and created a simple and clear message that is gentle and at the same time very powerful. The arts can be very healing and I encourage you to create from your heart and find your voice just as Monica is doing. To see more of Monica’s work visit her website at: omaaya.com       

Do you have a project that is near and dear to your inner creative voice? I would love to hear about it.