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Storyteller: Recovery by KatePowellArt Storyteller: Recovery by KatePowellArt

Storyteller: Recovery by KatePowellArt

/ / ©2013-2015 KatePowellArt

This is my final art A2 piece, responding to the theme ‘Storyteller’.

I decided to tell my own story of self harm/food problems through visual means: a self portrait/collage in which I am trying to show that I have now recovered and moved on from what was a really horrible time in my life.

I think I took a risk by including torn-out diary pages from my second relapse in 2010, as a lot of people at school (and now the internet) will see this, and after all it is a very personal thing, when I wrote this I never intended it to be read by anyone other than myself. I decided to include the pages because it is my own way of coming to terms with the fact that this is how I once felt, despite being so far from those feelings now. I think it is better for me to face up to these pages, rather than pretending these feelings never existed. The diary in which they were stored was still sat in the box by my bed, and these words were lying stagnant in the air in my room, and I decided it was time to put them to use or at least get them out of my room as they are no longer relevant of helpful to me in any way. It was very satisfying, almost therapeutic, to tear them to pieces, I felt as though I was killing those thoughts so that they could never return. I stared at them in disbelief as I stuck them down - I can’t believe it was my hand that wrote these words, they seem alien to me now.

The collage coming from my mouth - the story - might not be as aesthetically pleasing or as nicely arranged as I had hoped it would be, but for the first time ever I realised I cared more about the message and meaning in my piece than how it was visually presented or how ‘pretty’ it looked. I hoped that it wouldn’t look too contrived, but I just wanted to portray self injury through small objects and items, where before long butterflies - hope, recovery, redemption, safety - start to emerge, and then take over. I wanted it to represent how I was once so caught up in self hatred and self denial that I thought I would never recover or never even want to recover, but then after much time I did see the light and everything started to fall into place, and I got my life back. Today as I assembled the piece, I realised the last time I had opened a box of razors had been in 2010, and the fact that I have come so far made me feel proud. I included such graphic items and horrible words because they are still a part of me and my story, but I have since risen above that and since realised that I am better than that.

I don’t know if anyone will have read this long description, but if you have done and you are also struggling with self-harm or an eating disorder or know someone who is, know that there is still hope yet. For years I was so low and so hopeless and remember thinking that I would never get better so I might as well take my own life. I am so glad I didn’t. I am admitting all this now because I have transformed and now see all the beauty in life and I am truly, truly happy. When I was 13 I didn’t see how I could ever not want to hurt myself, and at the age of 17 I know that recovery is possible, and recovery is beautiful. I don’t know exactly how to go about recovering, but I do know there is always the possibility of finding a way out. You just have to find it.
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scottica Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Student General Artist
this is incredible. i love what it means. thank you so much
biancaclaytonn Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist
i'm in love with your work, if my teacher didn't show your story to our class i don't think i'd be so inspired to go out and try my best.
KanchanCollage Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015   Traditional Artist
Fabulous in concept and execution!
erindwiazmi Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing!! i love your artwork!!!
AnoushayKhan Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OlyaAndrushchenko Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist
JosiHeartYou Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this very much. For me your collage have a really strong message and it is absolute touching. I think this piece could really give hope for people who struggle with self harm and food problems. Great work!
Kelathi Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely beautiful :heart:
Scorchyz Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I can't even begin to say how much I admire this piece
It's so colorful and says so much and it's just gorgeous

This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
leanzaofearth Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013   Digital Artist
First of all, the portrait is gorgeous. I love the pose, colors, style, everything! Secondly, of course the story. It's very powerful and the way you executed it is brilliant. I have never experienced such things, but I know that a lot of young people today do. It reminds me of what my Creative Writing professor said about poems - it's very specific, very personal, but by being that it becomes relatable and personal to other people as well. (something like that LOL)

Anyway, great great great piece! :clap:
tacomintrico Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
This is a great piece, and your story makes it even more beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Ramello Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This piece is so lovely, it sits there and implants an image in my mind which turns and turns, seeping and oozing into the crevices of my own experiences. It is a story of hope, and of great sadness. One which i can relate to well. Thanks for sharing your beautiful art, you are very talented. Just curious, how long does a piece like this usually take you to plan, execute and finish?
LilaeaBluecoat Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
How very brave of you to make such a personal piece for everyone to see! It's really powerful because of it!
Shelleymags Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
Thank you so much for sharing your story, you are so brave and I am sure your story will be an inspiration to others! I follow your art work as you are one of my favourites, you are so talented!
jhwalker Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
This is a very powerful piece. It shows great depth and courage. As both an artist and someone who has counseled young women with similar challenges, I wanted to share something with you. First, it's impressive that you have moved past these issues and see the beauty in life again. Secondly, even though those times were heart-wrenchingly difficult, those hardships helped shape you as an artist, something you'll realize as you grow older. Some of the most talented artists are people who have felt deep pain and moved past it. The vital piece being moving past old ways of coping with pain to new ones. Throwing yourself so deeply into artistic expression is a much better way to express all those feelings deep inside you. You did indeed take a risk. But that's part of being an artist. And who knows who you might help with this post and art series. Somewhere out there, there might be a girl who is hurting. She might see your post and realize that since there was a way out for you, there might be a way out for her too. I applaud your bravery and courage. As for your talent, I am in awe.
whimandwonder Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a beautiful representation of your story. And how gutsy and courageous to include real diary pages. BRAVO for that. :clap: I think the whole piece is amazing.
heartinart Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing art and amazing strength! Your strength! :heart:
TheCures Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
how nice, we kinda have the same calligraphy
willwriteforhearts Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Student Writer
Wow, love this, and I love that you added the personal touch of putting those old diary entries in it. It makes it just that much more powerful. Congratulations on your recovery, and thank you so much for sharing this :)
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013   Photographer
Despite the sad story behind this, you have created an incredible, and even beautiful piece of artwork, that is full of meaning! I love the way the terrible things flowing out of your mouth become vibrant butterflies, what a great statement. :heart:
Luewyn Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
You are a truly inspirational person, how you have overcome trials, and your talent with art. I may be going through something like that, and so thanks for showing me that there is still hope yet.
Also, this peice is amazing, so thanks for sharing it :)
TheNotSoTurquoise Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
you did great work !
derthmort Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
I feel humbled by your bravery in recounting such a difficult time of your life in such a graphic, public yet optimistic and uplifting way. I have no experience of such a terrible affliction and struggle to understand how such self loathing can arise. I can't pretend to understand, however through your words, and art, I at least see some of the darkness that surrounded you. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
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Submitted on
April 23, 2013
Image Size
885 KB


385 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 600D
Shutter Speed
1/128 second
Focal Length
18 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Apr 23, 2013, 2:52:07 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Sensor Size