It’s a crazy story
Once upon a time, two fathers sat in the audience in a concert hall on a cold November night and cried while a sixteen-year-old performed at a nine-foot grand piano, accompanied by a youth symphony. As a teenager, Jo Verdis could channel her own heartstrings through Rachmaninoff’s thick-as-honey harmonies, emoting the raw pain of life and the reluctant resignation of death through the keys till the music drew tears.
But Jo’s musical life disintegrated following a car accident, a brain injury, and psychological trauma caused by criticism she received in music school. Over the years, the pain of separation from her creative spirit eroded her mental health until she became trapped in a terrifying period of mental and emotional crisis.
that brought gifts of transformation,
In the midst of this suffering, an inspired intuition led Jo to seven principles for releasing fear and self-judgment through process-oriented creativity. By practicing this guidance through visual artmaking, especially alcohol inks painting, she learned not only to recover her creative abilities, but also to recover her mental health and heart as well.
Creativity helped Jo heal her creativity. Then it helped her recover from her traumatic brain injury and mental health crisis, her trauma and her chronic pain, her PTSD, and her struggle with self-esteem. Her spiritual life and her relationships transformed. She returned to playing and writing music. Creativity became her therapist’s invaluable co-therapist. It became a guide to a life that far outmeasures the one she knew before the traumas. Now her creativity will not quit!
and a soul purpose.
Jo now feels called to use her inspired concepts about creative process, skills and insights honed in therapy, and experiences of profound brokenness and profound recovery to help others heal their creative wounds and fears.
Now she’s an adventure guide like none other
Jo’s approach to assisting in others’ healing through creativity is unique and multifaceted. Sometimes she serves as a spotter, providing support and a sense of security during others’ adventures into their creativity. Other times she coaxes creations from their makers by actively directing people to their own inner guidance and showing them how to hear it more easily. Jo adapts co-creation as a teaching modality, using collaborative work as an opportunity to give clients an experience of the ease with which anybody can quickly dip into their own readily-available, continuous flow of creative inspiration.
Energized for a busy year ahead and maxing out on gratitude, Jo is currently accepting bookings for 2021.
Jo weaves instruction with inspiration; she leads by example; but most of all, she helps you reveal to yourself your own competence to sit in the driver’s seat of your creativity and go on the adventure your cravings inspire. In so doing, Jo takes on various roles: speaker, coach, social and community creativity leader, and workshop facilitator. Jo’s engaging personality, inspiring story, and focused, accessible guidance has not failed to earn her repeat invitations.
She recently wrote a book challenging commonly-held limiting beliefs about creativity. In it, Jo clearly presents her creative process along with her story, and offers an abundance of practical methods, resources, exercises, and examples to help readers learn to access their creativity easily at any moment. Check back for updates about the availability of Jo's first book, On Earth I Am Safe.
with a passion for collaboration.
Producer, musician, and voice coach Ejé Lynn-Jacobs and Jo Verdis found a few common chords between the keys of their lives and musical expressions. Ejé is as inspired by Jo's original music as she is by his soul-deep jazz vocals as well as the musicality and creativity finding its expression in his bass and percussion performance, songwriting, and arranging. Sharing musical and spiritual motives, methods, and aesthetics, the two collaborate as the duo ISLE BE. They have been musifying themes of love and acceptance for local audiences for a couple of years and are currently recording an album, ISLE BE The First--originals by Jo and Ejé.
Creative collaborations are one of Jo’s favorite things in life. In addition to Ejé, other collaborators have included an international array of writers, composers, choreographers, artists, musicians, videographers, and multi-dimensional creatives including Steven Makela, Doug Harbin, Kristi Fullerton, Carter Rice, Noah Bray, Melissa Creider, Max Sudhues, Andrew Martin, Becca Blunk, Joanna Lynn-Jacobs, Diana Walker, Kacie Johnston, Thomas Moore, Petra Van Tendeloo, Juan Carlos Bonifaz, Katherijne Vanderhoeft, Ciro Carcatella, Andrea Lamišovà, and a host of friends and family members that Jo entices to create with her.