“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

First thing you’ll discover about me if you’re around me for very long is I love Dolly Parton. Her optimism, creativity, and kindness are just a few of the many reasons I’ve admired her since I was a child.


What else—well I do have oodles of experience in graphic design, web design, and marketing from all sides. Since childhood in the tractor seat to waiting tables in college, and even selling couches at Ethan Allen Furniture, I enjoyed problem solving, processes, and designing systems to make life easier for anyone around me. At my first job as a graphic designer for an advertising agency, I learned newspaper, and billboards, and printing presses. Then I moved on to Gaylord Opryland Hotels in Nashville, Tennessee as Graphic Design Coordinator and later moved up to the Gaylord Hotels corporate team learning websites and search engine optimization. While doing all that, I established my company Thrive Creative Group on the side. I also had two sweet boys along the way who are still sweet but teenagers now.


I have my MFA in Graphic Design, I’m the creative director of my firm, a writer, and a design professor. From the rural roots of my childhood on a Kentucky grain farm, to becoming an entrepreneur and now a professor, I’ve always had a resilient and optimistic mindset. I’ve learned in recovery and grad school to be proud of who I am and where I came from.


In finding my purpose as Dolly says, I discovered old patterns and habits and how they created pressure, turning into anxiety to be perfectionistic. Nothing ever felt like enough, and I tried not to feel at all by drinking. This became an emotional self-fulfilling prophecy where all I was capable of was people pleasing and staying at the surface level. Unsurprisingly, these behaviors have long-term unhealthy effects. They can lead to panic attacks, burnout, depression, and addiction. Good news is through my own personal work and research on recovery, I learned beliefs can change. Bad habits and blindspots can be overcome, anxiety can be reduced, and depression can be alleviated if you’re willing to be honest with yourself and put in the work.


My goal here is to share my personal truths in the hope of helping others who are looking for help healing from trauma, addiction, and burnout. How healing-centered learning and making a safe space creates self compassion, then leads to confidence, which flows gently into self-acceptance. This marks the end of scarcity thinking and a new beginning of abundance thinking. It makes room to realize you have a choice to heal your inner addicted artist, and it cultivates a mindset that makes a life truly fulfilling. If you’d like to interview Lorilee, be on her podcast, or have her speak to a group on recovery or graphic design, you can reach out here »

Wishing you abundant joy and success. You are enough!

*Photography by Kathryn Ely

The human connection is the key to personal and career success.



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