Susan MacLeod

Illustrator, Graphic Facilitator, Comic Artist,


I'm working to help make long-term care more compassionate for its residents and workers. I'll graduate in May 2018 with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. My book is a light-hearted and humorous graphic memoir about the long-term care system.

What are you most proud of professionally?

Creating the Humans of Saint Vincent's Instagram account to spotlight the human personality and vitality among nursing home residents.

What's your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?

We are applauded for our innovative and compassionate health care system. We are a highly diverse province (Nova Scotia) with many welcomed immigrants living around the province experiencing respect and inclusion. Our society crosses generations and cultures, learning and growing with each other.

What was your greatest stage of growth?  What made it a shift for you? 

I was afraid of my mother entering a nursing home but I became curious, embraced the experience and learned of its strengths and weaknesses. I was there for her, and now I want to help effect change for others.

What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?

Fearlessness. I now note when I'm afraid and go forward being gentle with myself.

Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?

My mother. My mentors at University of King's College: Kim Pittaway, Harry Thurston and Jane Silcott. My mother was brave. My mentors are knowing, kind and generous.

What would you have done differently?

I wish I had discovered how to be fearless earlier.

What are the principles you live by?

Put curiosity before judgment. Lead with compassion yet protect yourself from being mistreated. Meditate. I try to live by kindness for myself and others.

How have you recovered from fractured professional relationships?  What uncomfortable truths have you learned about yourself in those experiences)?

I've learned I've been loyal to a system that didn't deserve my loyalty. I have learned to speak my voice in a way that’s heard, avoiding unnecessary conflict but speaking what wants to be said.


Artist, Graphic Facilitator, Advocate for the elderly in Long-Term Care, Ocean Lover

Susan MacLeod