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Volume 1

Welcome to the very first issue of the Voices of Experience Online Magazine. This project was developed in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as a way to lift up the voices of Minnesota youth living with mental illness. All artists featured submitted a proposal and was offered a commission for their final pieces. Each artist worked with a professional artist mentor throughout their process.


Jarrett VanderPoel

He/Him or They/Them
18 - Cloquet, MN

This series of drawings is an insight into my personal experiences as a mentally ill person. I hope they can capture the emotions I feel. While I cannot show my entire life's experiences, I hope to give a window into a small bit of it. These drawings are a physical representation of symptoms of my Borderline Personality Disorder. I want others to understand the emotions and feelings that come with BPD. For example, the drawing "who am I?" shows the loss of sense of identity and chronic feelings of emptiness. I want others to look at that drawing and see what it's like to not know who you really are. You feel like an empty void. I put the symptoms labelled by the drawings to show how those specific symptoms are experienced.

I have suffered with mental illness ever since I was a small child, and I grew up with no way to describe what I was feeling, but through art I found a way to make my loss of words into pictures. And I hope others can do the same through my art