I'm Kimmy Henderson and I am an accidental art activist.
Despite always doodling, I never really delved into art until I became a mom. It was then that I stumbled my way into entrepreneurism when I found my niche of custom designed, hand painted stemware. With the help of social media, I went from selling at local art and wine events to shipping worldwide. Business was booming and I was even offered the opportunity to sell at a national brand store.
But then I had my first major manic episode and business halted.
During this episode, I painted a butterfly and only later realized how well it represents not only the dual sides of Bipolar, but all mental illness. On one side we try to show our best, most beautiful selves even when we may be crumbling on the other.
When I shared about my Bipolar Butterfly art and diagnosis, I received such an outpour and response. I then heard a harrowing statistic that the number 2 cause of death in my children's age range was suicide. This struck me hard and I decided that I wanted to use the Bipolar Butterfly to make a difference for their generation.
The Bipolar Butterfly Project
With the Bipolar Butterfly Project, I hope to raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Through symbolic butterfly art and education, I encourage people to open up about mental illness.
What This Project Does
Aims to make a change for my children and their future friends, coworkers and families who may be touched one way or another by mental illness.
Gives mental health a visual representation to build community and support as effectively as pink ribbons and rainbows do.
Includes everyone - no matter your religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, culture, age, location or economic status; no demographic is untouched by mental illness.
This is a battle we can all fight together and we can all help by simply having a conversation. With your help, we can spread the Bipolar Butterfly Project beyond Akron, Ohio and across the country. If this project can spare one life from tragedy due to mental illness, we’ve made a difference.