Karen Trueman’s self-published book You Made It This Far: Mind, Body and Soul is on sale and helping other people.
In January 2018, Karen lost her sister Claire to cerebral vasculitis; a brain condition which causes healthy blood vessels to be attacked, making them swollen and narrow and affecting blood flow. Claire was just 37.
In 2021, the Echo ran a story about Karen launching her business, Heart Art, as well as workshops for anyone wanting to use art to support their own mental health.
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At the height of her grief Karen began to develop her artwork on the theme of hearts, as she and Claire had matching heart tattoos.
As well as bereavement Karen, 43, has also had direct and indirect experience of other traumas, which have been the backdrop to the book. In addition to her detailed illustrations, she has added her writing too.
Karen, from Fatfield, said: “I’ve used artwork to manage grief. Then I started writing little bits of poetry and little things about trauma.
“So I’ve written and published my first book, poetry and prose, illustrated by the Heart Art work. It’s a message of spreading love and helping other people.
“It’s about life events that people might not talk about: alcoholism, growing up, self-harming, infidelity, lies, cheating. There’s loads of stuff.
“The whole point of the book is trauma and the effect of it, which is the body, and the outcome of it, which is the soul. It’s to encourage people to write about their problems too. It can help mental health.
“People who have read it and been in tears, but it’s helped them and their families because its the first time they’ve been able to relate to this stuff without talking about it.”
A busy Karen has also recently had her first solo exhibition at Arts Centre Washington.