AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
AJN On the Cover
Vivienne Flesher, the artist who created this month's cover illustration, first drew the anorexic figure in pencil in 2006, and two years later she used the digital imaging software Photoshop to place it inside a “normal” figure, creating this dramatic double image.
Before she became an illustrator, Flesher felt that her artwork was a private part of her life and not something she wanted to share. Over time, however, she realized that she'd “created hundreds of interesting drawings and began playing with them,” photographing them and putting them on CDs so she could use them in her illustration assignments. “Some clients allow me to use my drawings of nude figures,” she said, “while others ask me to put clothing on them.” She also experiments with combining a head from one figure with a body from another.
While Flesher doesn't have a personal history with eating disorders, she says she faces other struggles, as everyone does. “We all have different issues and need to feel compassion and empathy for everyone's hardships,” she said. “Of course, we also need to help one another when we are able.”
Many who struggle with eating disorders long to exchange their bodies for those they idealize. This month's original research article, “An Inpatient Program for Adolescents with Anorexia Experienced as a Metaphoric Prison,” describes the experience of adolescents in an Australian inpatient behavioral program for the treatment of anorexia and how both nurses' and patients' perception of the program as a metaphoric prison negatively affects the development of therapeutic relationships between them.
Vivienne Flesher lives and works in San Francisco. To see her portfolio, go to www.warddraw.com. Read her fine-art blog at http://vivienneflesher.blogspot.com.—Alison Bulman, associate editor