Layer Reveal

Why are we here?

The Layered Onion is a benefit corporation created to eliminate the stigma of emotional and mental health by sharing and promoting creative content through a digital platform from artists with lived experience.

The Problem:

1. Life is hard

Artists and creative people with mental and emotional health challenges have difficulty finding and navigating requirements necessary to share work and excel in their artistic field.

The time and energy required to accomplish artistic goals can be impossible to achieve while navigating and balancing other aspects of life.

2. Sharing isn’t easy

Current creator hubs lack specialization when it comes time for an artist to move through the process. What is the algorithm? How do you get your work seen?

We feel that it is advantageous for a unique and individualized approach to editing, publishing, and marketing rather than the historical “one size fits all” method. 

3. We want to be heard and remembered

This last problem culminates from failures of the first two. 

The difficulty of navigating being an artist combined with the lack of specialization in the field leaves the world in a continuous misunderstanding of mental health and even worse: a dearth of art from these talented artists.

The Plan:

Our first goal will be forming a community to collaborate, share and grow with as well as providing the resources that will help connect with like-minded creators.

Our next milestone is a website where supporters can browse creator blogs and support our artists financially through their online store. We will provide resources including editing, publishing, and marketing.

We intend to build a product that will adapt and connect all artists with mental and emotional health challenges to the resources they need to take their artistic vision to fruition. 
Our website and community will be tailored and individualized so that every artist has autonomy and assistance to accomplish their goals and make money doing so.

By excelling at our business goals, we will have assisted The Layered Onion artists in generating quality artwork that will not only change the current attitude surrounding mental health, but ensure that the future includes their history.

Artwork Spotlight

Artwork Spotlight: Chrysanthemum

In the Artwork Spotlight series of blog posts, the Layered Onion highlights a specific work by an artist in the community. These works could range from short stories to visual art to music and more!

Today, Linda is sharing her poem “Chrysanthemum.”


Tears fall gently from above,
Nourishing the life still
Preparing below.

Wet feet put to bed with 
Frost stalling new
Growth above.

Your gift in 1970 and 
Fifty years later.

Mums the memory of 
Your time with us.

An annual reminder of 
Your charity to many.

Amber, yellow, orange and
Maroon. The colors of October.
The colors of you.

Emma, never forget the soul
That embodies the name.
Universal, you are whole.

Do you have artwork you want to share? Join us at The Layered Onion. Everyone has a story to tell.

Layer Reveal

A Warm Welcome and an Optimistic Outset

For this first blog post at The Layered Onion, we want to begin by setting the tone for what we hope this community will become. How does one foster an ecosystem? We think that setting intentions is a good place to start.

We want this to be a community that supports, a community that encourages, a community that provides. There are countless challenges in place for artists, especially for folks with mental and emotional health challenges.

For example, for a poet writing their first collection may want to collaborate with an illustrator and find a publisher for the work. But what happens when you don’t have a network in place? How will the poet solicit an illustrator? How will the poet find a publisher? How do the artists ensure their work is copyright protected? What does fair payment look like? These represent but a few questions in the larger corpus generated from putting your artistic work out into the world. Furthermore, navigating these uncertainties compounds with addressing personal health challenges. In recognition of these situations, The Layered Onion seeks to create an accessible community that artists can turn to for support in answering these questions.

Why “The Layered Onion”? The name itself is in service to this goal. Folks that have watched the 2001 DreamWorks classic Shrek may remember the scene in which the protagonist compares himself to an onion. While some may brush aside the reference to the movie, it carries a critical and generalizable insight: each individual is a complex, layered person, much like, yes, an onion. Mental and emotional health challenges don’t define us in our entirety any more than Shrek’s appearance defined his character. To do so would be to collapse the layers of ourselves in two dimensions, loosing all the complexities that make each and every one of us unique human beings.

At the same time, the challenges that face us are complex and layered as well. The Layered Onion aims to support artists in peeling back and understanding those layers. Not only do we seek to answer questions like “How do I find a collaborator?” but also “Why is copyright important?” and the “why” is critical.

With these intentions, the team here at The Layered Onion embarks on a hopeful voyage and extends a warm welcome to all who join us.