Visual Storytelling

Welcome to the newest element of my work! I continue to learn and grow. Most recently, I have become interested and immersed in supporting individuals in planning for their lives—the end of their lives as they hope for it to be, their experiences with illness and suffering, and the lives they wish to live now.

My Mission

My mission, in all my work, is to provide a path for personal discovery and transformation. I hope you will join me on the journey.

If you’re curious to learn about how I turned toward these areas of interest…

In 2020, I registered for the course, Living Fearlessly, offered by the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. The experience was life-changing. While already a formal Zen student, the readings, speakers, and conversations gave me new perspectives on the areas of advanced care planning, dying, death, suffering, grief, relationships, communication, and living life even more fully. Our assignment to create our own obituaries became a visual history of my life. It was thought-provoking and a whole new level of engagement with end-of-life issues, as I was thinking about how I had lived and was living my life. The interactions and my reflections brought me beyond my earlier personal experiences.

In that same fall, I joined an informal group of visual practitioner colleagues to explore the area of graphically recording the wishes, hopes, and dreams of those near the ends of their lives and those thinking ahead to how they wanted to live their final weeks and days. In co-creating VEOLI (Visualizing End of Life Issues), we started to think more deeply and broadly about end-of-life issues, connect with, and learn from, other professionals in this field.

Since then, I have expanded my skills to include:

  • facilitating conversations about end-of-life planning and graphically recording those experiences
  • developing and delivering sessions in creating visual obituaries (Sharing the Memories of Our Lives)
  • graphically recording life celebrations (online memorial services)
  • starting to draw and write my observations from my internship as a chaplain.

Here is a small variety of my pieces of work in this visual storytelling genre.

Graphic recording of End-of-Life Planning

Graphic Recording of Life Celebration/Memorial

Sample questions from
Sharing Our Memories Workshop

Visual from Clinical Pastoral Education
final project

Draft visual for graphic memoir (book) cover

Comic of experiences during
chaplaincy internship

Testimonials

Jill was a delight to work with, always bringing a welcoming energy and staying flexible during the design process. Within the workshop Jill created an atmosphere that allowed people to be vulnerable with each other and conduct deep reflection with themselves. She has a unique gift of creating safe spaces around uncomfortable or scary subjects so people are able to explore, begin planning and come to peace with them.

Angela KriegA. Krieg Studio

Coming into and performing this work successfully requires a high level of empathy, communication, and conscientiousness. Jill demonstrates these qualities in all that she does, and her ability to connect with participants on a one-on-one level, even in a full group session like this one, is second to none.

Trent WakenightSenior Consultant, The Grove Consultants International.

It was a thought-provoking workshop that was designed and well-paced to help you frame your life’s meaningful events. Prior to the session, a list of questions were sent out for reflection to help gather our thoughts and photos. I would recommend this workshop to anyone looking for a creative method to share your life stories and to give meaning and purpose to your life.

Mary Jo NeilDrawn Dialogue

“I appreciated your ability to facilitate sharing which brought such a variety of ideas forward.”

“I was pleasantly surprised with my change of attitude regarding my impression of using visualization in communicating.  I always thought the written word was my major preference.”

“It inspired to me to gather photos…gave me some focusing questions to think about. I’m also percolating on some other ways to work with memories”

About Sharing Our Memories

Jill, we can’t thank you enough for the visual summary you created during our dad’s Zoom memorial. Your presence helped host a tender space that supported heartfelt sharing and your deep listening and artistic talent combined to create a graphic that not only recorded this very special event but will serve as a record in our ancestry book that highlights the best qualities of this unique man that we called our Dad.

Stephanie SteigerwaldtGrief Support Specialist & Facilitator

Jill’s workshop introduced me to the variety of ways to memorialize a life visually. More important than the end-product was the process, which gives you the opportunity to learn about and become closer to your loved one in new ways. Seeing other participants’ work gave me exciting new ideas to try.

Caryn GinsbergArlington, VA

Are you interested in learning more about this work? Click here to book a spot on my calendar. We’ll meet to discuss your project, ideas, and questions.