About Jeffrey Sparr…
PeaceLove Co-founder Jeff Sparr is a man on an audacious mission – a mission to make mental illness cool. Not cool to have, but cool to support. A family man, mental health advocate, teacher and self-taught artist, Jeff is above all a survivor, battling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) much of his life.
Diagnosed in college, Jeff spent decades waging a daily war against his illness. While launching a textile company, getting married and starting a family, he remained desperate for an outlet to relieve his mental anguish.
On a whim, and with no background or training, Sparr decided to try his hand at painting. Like discovering a superpower, he found painting dramatically subdued the symptoms of his OCD, providing a creative outlet and sense of control. This discovery changed the course of Jeff’s life, and he hasn’t stopped painting since.
Jeff paints with passion and purpose, using foam brushes, brash strokes and bold colors. He works quickly, pouring his energies onto the canvas. Brush in hand, he is in a zone, experiencing the quietude of his own mind. He is the man in the fedora: cool, strong, and self-assured. “I’m the peace man,” he says, “it’s like a Superman thing.”
While re-watching a 2009 Discovery Health Channel documentary featuring his story, Jeff had his Aha! moment and knew he needed to do something with his newfound superpower. Inspired by a simple, powerful image signifying peace of mind and love in your heart, Sparr set out to build the first symbol and movement for the mental health community to rally behind.
Jeff has shared his story with diverse communities including NBC Nightly News, The Discovery Channel, NPR, Hallmark, Zappos, LIVESTRONG, TEDx, Social Venture Network, Ohio State University, Brown University Department of Neuroscience, McLean Hospital, and Cannes Lions. His art has found its way into various galleries, private collections, permanent installations, and the Grammy’s MusiCares. In May of 2018 Jeff with be one of the faces of Janssen/Johnson&Johnson’s Global Anti- Stigma Campaign.