Meet Danica

Danica Thurber

Artist, Therapeutic Art Life Coach, Author

I loving using the arts as a "visual diary" for processing my emotions and thoughts. As a coach and teacher, I love using art as a way to help care for others and connect with my community - both online and face-to-face.

 

I live in Idaho with my amazing husband and adorable young son. Juggling nap times and weekends, I work as a professional artist, art ministry director, and therapeutic art life coach. I create my own artwork using acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, colored pencils - just about anything that fits my mood or inspiration.

My specialty is using the art process as a tool for working through grief.

2009  Graduated Vancouver School of Arts & Academics

2013  Published undergraduate thesis in Arts & Humanities

2016  Professional Artist

2018  Certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach

2019  VineArts Ministry Director 

2020  Published first children's book on grief & loss

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When life takes us beyond words, we can go beyond words to heal.

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Life is messy. It's full of loss, grief, healing,

and (for me) learning to express it all through art.

Creative

Life Coach

 

When I was twelve years old, my dad passed away of a sudden heart attack. 

 

I lost 2 more family members shortly afterward. Numb and depressed, I struggled to understand and express my grief for many years afterward, and art was sometimes my only outlet for grief.

I graduated from Washington State University in 2013 with a thesis on "Cultural Expressions of Grief Through Art", which was published in an online journal that same year. Since then, I have spoken at multiple conferences nationwide and led grief art workshops throughout the Northwest.

 

I am now a practicing artist and certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach. I am also the director of a growing arts ministry at a local church here in Idaho.

My online school called "Project Grief" was created in 2018 with the help of my amazing husband and entrepreneurial brother. It was a collection of pre-recorded therapeutic art courses aimed at helping individuals recovering from the loss of a loved one. 

 

Project Grief was the resource I wish I had many years ago. The courses I taught were filled with growing-grievers who are learning about themselves and bravely expressing their thoughts and feelings.

But something was missing from my courses...

The COVID-19 pandemic plunged many who were already struggling with mental health and motivation into a deeper form of isolation and purposeless. 

 

Late in fall 2020, I decided to make the jump to LIVE coaching and teaching only, using virtual platforms where, no matter the distance, we could meet regularly, face-to-face. I also wanted to expand my content to reach not just grievers, but also those coping with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Already, it's been such a rewarding experience!

 

The majority of my coachees and my art students don't start out calling themselves "artists"; in fact many of them start at the level of stick-figures!

 

But over the course of their time with me, many have discovered a new love and passion for creating and expressing themselves through art.

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."

- Georgia O'Keeffe, artist

 
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