Art by Kristina Malmberg.

This year’s annual KNOWvember campaign, “Art Through Pain,” focused on how creative expression can be a useful tool for processing our experiences with chronic illness and even help us cope with daily pain.

Created by U.S. Pain Foundation, KNOWvember is a month-long educational campaign for the pain community. This year’s campaign offered virtual events, interactive social media posts, and an art submission initiative.

More than 60 pain warriors submitted photos of their artwork. Much of the art was traditional paintings or drawings; other submissions were of more unique projects, like crochet work or sculptures. Art that was submitted before Nov. 22 can be viewed here. A selection of pieces may also be shared in a future INvisible Project or on the “Remedy” blog.

The campaign also included three events. On Nov. 7, pain warriors joined professional art therapist Christine Hirabayashi, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, for a webinar titled “Art Therapy: Giving Chronic Pain a Voice Through Creative Expression.” Hirabayashi walked through modules used in an art therapy setting and discussed how creative expression can be an outlet for the complex emotions that go along with chronic pain. To watch the webinar recording, click here.

Artists from various walks of life and mediums logged in to Twitter for a chat on Nov. 12 titled, “A Twitter Chat with Artistic Pain Warriors.” U.S. Pain asked questions of participants, ranging from their preferred art medium to whether they felt their pain showed through their pieces of art. You can review the images that were shared by searching for the hashtag #ArtThroughPainChat.

The virtual events wrapped up on Nov. 20 with an interactive writing workshop, led by author Sonya Huber. A chronic pain warrior herself, Huber focused her talk on the power of metaphors as therapeutic and effective tools to express and cope with pain. You can watch the recording of “Writing about Pain: A Workshop with Book Author Sonya Huber” here.