For Jody Sims, art is a healer. Whether she’s painting a portrait, a landscape or an abstract 
expression, Jody’s distinctive personal style and use of text combine to create a transformative experience.

“I have a cartoon on my desk of a woman standing in front of a building reading a sign that says ‘Seeking Enlightenment, 
Inquire Within.’  It shows her looking for the door, but there is no door.  I believe my art compels me to seek a greater 
understanding of my place in the universe and to cherish those insightful moments, like when I realized there was no 
door . . . that I am the door.”

Jody grew up in a small farming community in western Illinois, where she was greatly influenced by cartoons and the 
graphic art on cereal boxes. She studied fine art at Illinois State University in the 1970s, and then embarked on an 
extraordinary life as a graphic designer, illustrator, muralist, film producer, event planner, newspaper publisher, and 
community leader over a span of nearly 38 years in San Diego, California.  

Jody became a vegetarian in 2012, shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn’t until 2015, after she 
and her partner moved to Tennessee and met the animals at the Gentle Barn, that she became a vegan.  “It was a health 
decision initially, but now it has become a cause. Being a vegan is good for your health, good for the planet, and especially 
good for animals!”

Among her many artistic achievements, Jody is the author of the book Soul Provider: Conversations With My Cat, which 
showcases 20 paintings of her cat’s face, along with journal entries of her experience through cancer. The book won a 
Nautilus Book Award in 2014.
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