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Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly . . .

-  proverb

Image of a middle-aged woman with short, brown hair and eyeglasses.  She is holding a white Cockapoo puppy in her arms and laughing delightedly with her eyes closed and slightly turned away from the puppy.

Photos by Julie Resnick

About Me. . . 

My name is Jessica Schaffer (she/her).  I live on a beautiful stretch of land inhabited originally by the Nehalem and Clatsop people.  It sits on the northern Oregon coast where the rhythm of the tides, the bounty of the forest and the seasonal shifts sustain me, as do my two wonderful dogs, Kirby and Bodhi.  Professionally, I have spent the past 28 years in the wellness sector as a body worker and a Nervous System Health Educator/Wellness Mentor.

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In the Fall of 2020, I was dreaming out loud about how fun it would be to draw on an iPad. Mind you, I had never drawn before in my life and had no innate talent to do so!  So I wrote off that whim as far too expensive to justify.  But my beloved partner of 25-years, Patrice, heard something in my musings, and for the holidays, she gifted me with an iPad.  Ten days later, we learned that she was dying.  

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In my acute grief, I put the iPad away and did not pick it back up until the Fall of 2021.  Not knowing how to work with it, I took a self-paced online course.  And for reasons I may never fully understand or be able to explain, I began drawing.  I felt as if an ancient memory was finding its way to the surface, and something new and beautiful was emerging.

 

The result is what you see on these pages.  And what will continue to unfold over time as I explore the contrasting elements of life:  the light and shadow, the fear and joy, the brokenness and simultaneous expansion and complexity of being human.  And always with a note of hope and optimism that reflects our innate resilience and deeper potential.

 

I felt moved to carry these images into a line of greeting cards that honors the challenge, pain and beauty that weave through all of our life experiences.  Without doubt, these cards are inspired by my own process of walking through grief, recognizing how hard it is to hold others in their pain without trying to erase, fix, or soften the sharp edges of their experiences.

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I consider the gift that Patrice offered me as she was leaving the world to be precious seeds.  Those seeds have germinated and are growing a life that I could never have imagined!  So I rest in the shade of a tree that her love helped nurture into being.

My life has always been first and foremost about aligning with a deeper calling and a path of service.  I offer my artwork in this same spirit.  I hope these images touch your heart and open your imagination, germinating possibility, healing, and transformation.

Image of a middle-aged woman with short, brown hair and eyeglasses.  She is holding a buff colored Cockapoo in her arms and laughing delightedly while looking at the dog. who gazes off to the side.

For a deeper dive into Jessica's story and the origins and mission of The Chrysalis Imagery,

you can check out her interview with Jana DeCristofaro on The Dougy Center's Grief Out Loud podcast.

About My Messaging. . .

Validation Matters!

All of my imagery & messaging aims to shed a gentle light on the complexity of being human.  I believe that naming the truth of our lived experiences is big medicine.  It can help us

feel seen, validated & less alone.  And that experience can change everything. 

Authenticity Matters!

My messages offer up candid reflections about the good, the bad & especially the crunchy moments in life, always with a note

of hope & possibility reflecting the innate resilience that lives within each of us.  

Representation Matters!

It's so important for us to see ourselves represented in the world around us.  I am intentional when creating images to reflect a range of experiences, including identities that we don't often see represented in dominant culture.  My hope is that people will see a little

of themselves in everything I create.

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