Creation of Calm

 A Cancer Survivor’s Sketchbook Story

Illustrated and written by Mark Fraley

Personal Memoir / Art / Inspirational

“The act of seeking revealed a loving God at work when everything in my life appeared to be crumbling.”

As a young husband and father, Mark learned he had cancer. Through two bouts of cancer that spanned four years, he chose “the posture of a seeker.” Even when pain and treatments stole his ability to work or focus for periods of time, he found expression through his art, capturing moments of his journey as images, reflections, and prayers, in a growing collection of sketchbooks. Creation of Calm reveals the result: honest art, wrenching emotions, a little spice of humor, and authentic spirituality. A very personal, easy-to-read book. A thoughtful, encouraging gift for anyone who has had cancer or knows someone who has. Appropriate for anyone who has grappled with faith during a time of suffering.

Paperback / 6″ x 8.25″ / 168 pp / black ink sketches & color art / ISBN: 9780989101424

See an EXCERPT from the book.


Reviews of CREATION OF CALM : 

“A poignant and thought-provoking response to the kind of health crisis that can turn a life inside out and leave a person bitter and angry. Fraley never claims not to have been afraid, and he fought off misplaced guilt and shame on a regular basis. Yet he writes with compassion, characteristic honesty, and the kind of tender empathy that only someone who has walked the road of cancer can feel and extend to others. … Whether for yourself or a loved one, and whether you’ve experienced cancer personally or not … the directness with which he writes about his family, pain, faith, and discovery of art as a medium through which to filter and process all his experiences, will touch your heart and leave you encouraged.”

− Eleanore Trupkiewicz, Author, editor, blogger

“A unique book that can be read on many levels. The drawings alone – touching, humorous, and professional – are reason enough to enjoy this book. Fraley’s sparse prose complements the drawings and takes us through his double battle with cancer. Furthermore, Fraley shares in a personal way his experiences and feelings of balancing his life as a young father and husband with the trials of hospitalization and chemotherapy. Finally he leaves us with a message of hope and victory sustained by his deep faith in God. I highly recommend this book.”

− Judith Pex, author

Creation of Calm is a real, honest, transparent, raw look at a man’s journey through cancer. You experience the ups and downs he faces through his journal entries and sketches, exposing his intimate thoughts and battles. As he tries to be the best husband and father possible during his worst days. His creativity makes his battle come alive and reassures us of God’s faithfulness through it all! I can see this book used as a fantastic tool for those struggling with similar battles.”

− John Fitzpatrick, pastor

Watch Mark demonstrate his artistic process:


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