The best pictures of me suggest a deep but agile focus; a certain kind of asking—a certain kind of listening. All my life so far has been about people and their stories: Wanting their stories, hearing their stories, understanding their stories, translating and sharing their stories, helping to further shape their stories, and really, helping them celebrate and the make the most of their stories.

My name is Laura Sullivan Cassidy; I'm a writer/editor, creative coach + consultant, and grief + death care worker living in Seattle, WA. This website is an ongoing document of some—but not all—of the ways in which my work, my personal projects, and my community interactions have been in pursuit of this connection and collaboration. 

If you're looking for a more straightforward CV or work history, you may reference my LinkedIn profile. For more of my day-to-day work/life, you can find me on Instagram. Most of my writing these days is shared on my Substack. 



The initial idea for something called Griever's Ball came to me as a podcast. (The name might ring an MTV-rooted bell if you are Gen X or Gen X-adjacent.) I still really intend for it to also be a podcast, but first, it become a weekly-ish Substack publication.

Launched in October '23, GRIEVER's BALL is a sincere but not-grim collection of interviews, resources, and connections for people who are grieving—but really, it's for anyone who knows that we're all living and we're all dying.

What I've found in my grief and death care work, and in my end of life doula training, is that there's a certain kind of person whose reaction to loss and sorrow and aloneness and despair is to try to understand how others are moving through loss and sorrow and aloneness and despair. We need each other's stories. And we need a community of people—a place to be (even if that's just inside an email for 15 minutes)—where we can turn away from the white noise of "regular life," and choose, instead, the heightened experience of an aware, knowing, and fully feeling life.

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The above image looks like an awkward school picture of an 8th grade English teacher, right? In a way it is a school picture, but I wasn't the teacher; I was more like the student, and the subjects were funerals, burials, ritual, ceremony, families, and grief.

This image was featured on the "about us" page of the Seattle funeral home where I worked for most of 2022. It was one of the best jobs I've ever had, even though my position wasn't creative, directorial, highly esteemed, or well-paid.

I supported (which means I also attended) dozens of funerals a week—at least half of which were for non-white, often non-native English speakers. My role was about assisting families with logistics and emotions while also helping funeral directors with everything from transporting bodies to dialing in a slideshow.

This job really changed me, and I only left it to take an even better funeral job—with Recompose, where I'm helping the pioneers of human composting shape outreach and communications for this incredibly important new death care alternative.


Between the months of October '21 and February '22, I was the Artist in Residence at The Grass is Unbelievably Warm, a "non-specific presentation space" at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.

During this time I held open studio/community drop-in hours each Wednesday, flagged on social media with an overt offering to talk, listen, process, reflect, advise, answer, ask, and more. Sometimes several people dropped by and group conversations ensued; sometimes no one showed up at all.

I also held monthly creative workshops called Awkward Trust Building Exercises. (Image above shows the 'Trust' sign I placed on the sidewalk outside whenever I was there.) These were hands-on, productive, small-group explorations of concepts such as magic, women's work, and presence. Each experience was just two hours long; the relative brevity a product of Covid precautions but also an exploration of less being more. Of dropping in quickly and saliently, then ambling away to order and re-order the ideas and the artifacts that were made of them.

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Also held at The Grass is Unbelievably Warm, Tearjerker was somewhere between a gallery show and a backyard picnic.

In the spring/summer of '22, my friend Elva Bennett was exploring a body of work based on the experience of transitioning. They had been told that the hormones they were taking might make it difficult or even impossible to cry. One of their reactions to this news was to began shaping a series of ceramic vessels, all of which were characterized by at least one out-sized tear.

I asked if we could build a show around them and when Elva agreed, I called it Tearjerker. I programmed a series of writers, poets, and performers to share (what turned out to be hilarious) sob stories on the sidewalk stage. I created a graphic tagline (shown here) and advertised the opportunity to bring one's own tee-shirt or other garment to our DIY screen set-up. Grass owner Theresa Wingert and our mutual friend Jessica Tsouginant crafted a menu of salty, tear-like wines and small bites designed to prompt watery eyes. I crowd-sourced a playlist of—well, you get it ... tearjerkers. Elva's work took center stage.

No one cried—we didn't expect them to. It was the party of the summer.


I began consulting with Joe and Henry Whinney on an ambitious retail project beginning in mid-'19; by the time the pandemic hit and everything was closing up, the first inventory pieces were just about due to arrive.

We pivoted hard and fast and opened Gift Shop in the International District of Seattle in January of '21. I first programmed a series of community-driven pop-ups, and then that June we had our first major activation: PAGES, a month-long, rolling series of book-and-zine focused shop-in-shop presentations featuring artists, makers, and collectors. (Small portion of the coexisting extensive window installation shown here.)

Those were tricky and beautiful times, somewhere between mask mandates and vaccinations; hope and trepidation. And while Gift Shop ultimately did not survive, I am incredibly proud of the way we created smart, fun, connective, evocative, hopeful, love-filled days in an important and historic neighborhood


Beginning with our Season One debut in September of 2020 and continuing through 2022 and Season Two, I worked directly with King County Equity Now's media director TraeAnna Holiday (pictured above) and a team of volunteers to concept, plan, and produce the podcast Equity Rising.

In conversations with activists, organizers, and thought leaders, Trae drops in to uplift, multiply, and celebrate their lived experiences. The initial season was all about going deep and wide; Trae connected with equity changemakers from Australia and South Africa to France, and from Oakland to Atlanta and more.

The second season celebrated the work being done here at home; we created a network of personal stories from around the Pacific Northwest to bolster the collective strength of KCEN's community.

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My reaction to the start of the pandemic was to train in coaching and positive psychology with the intent of realizing a desire to work more closely with people—not just on their brand or business or content, but on their personal development and creative potential.

In September '21, that training and education, layered onto decades of inquiry, understanding, synthesis, and meaning-building, became a new offering called SOFT DATA. (Official "mascot" image from my website and other channels shown here.)

I work with individuals and teams, both personally and professionally, to help them gain acumen and dexterity with their stories, their vision, and their available pathways. My style is super adaptable, and I bring context and insight from a really rich set of experiences. In one session, this yields holistic content strategy, in another it's my take on personal coaching for the new world, and others it's an ongoing 1:1 workshop for expression, expansion, and whatever specific projects need a boost of big thinking and creative action.

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In Fall 2019 my close friend and longtime collaborator Jessa Carta and I officially launched a creative cooperative called FULL BLEED (Still from now defunct website shown here.)

Jessa and I have created everything from magazine pages and pop-up shops to multi-day retreats and short films; together and separately we offered creative and content strategy, direction, and execution for brands, artists, businesses, event organizers, and more.

While the pandemic prompted us to turn back to our individual streams of consulting and creating (we closed the business in 2022), we still hold the possibility that this cooperative might reemerge and include some of the many talented designers, editors, filmmakers, engineers, developers, and artists in our networks. It was always our goal that we might all use our shared and common vision, voice, experience, and vocation for the good of our communities.

I made "TALK TO ME," a multi-channel audio narrative with video accompaniment, during spring/summer of 2019 for the ongoing, Seattle-based group art project FORWARD. (Still from the video shown above.)

Rather than use the opportunity to center my own experience, I mailed postcards with vague question-messages to more than 108 recipients to invite their voices into the mix. (108 was a significant and meaningful number within the context of FORWARD.)

For more on how I solicited and collected the responses I included, see this explainer page, which was built in Google Slides for potential participants to access.

Independent curator Sierra Stinson asked me to be one of seven international artists sharing text-based work in A Lone, a public group art exhibit discoverable in Seattle from May 3 to May 31, 2018.

My piece, BROKEN LANGUAGES, consisted of 28 audio files—a new piece for each day of the run—which were accessible by dialing the number 206-483-CALL. (The number is no longer active.) Passersby encountered this number on a billboard, and on stickers (shown above) that we plastered around the city.

If you'd like, you can access a sort of "best of" collection of my favorite audio pieces and their accompanying illustrations.

From July 2017 through October 2018, I directed content and strategy for the pop star Ciara on an app called TraceMe. (The app no longer exists.)  We developed daily stories, recurring series, and an immersive fan community, and used the mobile-first content platform to debut the "reveal" video of her daughter Sienna as well as her first single in over three years. 
For Ciara, the app was really about establishing an expanded identity; we shared the otherwise private stories of her life as a performer, but also her work as an entrepreneur, an advocate, and a mom. 
A year after the app itself ceased publishing, I reunited with Ciara and my Full Bleed partner Jessa Carter  to make this fan-centered feature for her IGTV
(Image by Haley Blavka.)

Commissioned by Vignettes as part of their Marquee series, WHAT FEELS MOST TRUE was a two-channel slideshow looped and projected onto large screens inside an empty building on Seattle's Capitol Hill for one night only in December of 2016.

I pulled visual elements from my father's Kodachrome images of family life as well as the underwater photographs he took during his years as a marine biologist. Though initially planned and concepted some time earlier, the piece became a reaction to my dad's passing in late November, and the concurrent election of Donald Trump. It was meant to be a meditation, a redirection, a centering.

The night of the projection was almost viciously cold—hail, rain, and snow on a full moon—but friends and strangers gathered on the corner to watch and connect.

(Installation view image by me.)


GAME RECOGNIZE GAME was a one-weekend showcase, party, and pop-up at Love City Love in August 2016. The exhibit was curated by Jessa Carter and "coupled" abstract oil paintings by my husband Erin Sullivan with my collage-and-text works on paper as a means of looking at the good, bad, and indifferent elements of sharing creative work, creative space, and creative practices. To underscore the theme of soloing and/or co-creating, we curated a gift shop stocked with limited-run objects made by friends who work either alone or in partnerships.

The show also served as a way to share my second short story collection, BACKYARD BIRDS BARKING AT TREES, as well as a collection of songs by Litter Shore—which was a recording project made up of Erin and me along with Jessa and Ria Leigh. In the back room of Love City Love, we screened ROSE PETALS LITTER THE SHORE, a four-part video song cycle.

(Exterior gallery view image by me.)

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Between the years 2014 and 2017, I did the global Fashion Week circuit—New York, London, Paris (I never had to go to Milan)—twice a year for Nordstrom.

As the senior editor for Olivia Kim's Creative Projects team as well as the store's designer brands, my gig was to go to shows and showroom or studio appointments all day every day for the month-long stretch of consecutive Fashion Weeks. Every night I then had to turn the day's interviews and impressions into image-drenched features about collections, designers, and tastemakers for the content-heavy SPACE microsite and for

It was the worst best job I've ever had. It further tightened my already long-practiced ability to spin good content out of seemingly thin air on a relentless schedule, and I had insane access to brilliant people in fashion- and art-filled places of wonder. And because I almost always took photographer Jessa Carter with me, we had many, many opportunities to cultivate our shared working style. But the experience also all but soured me completely on the punishing season cycle and the body politics and regular politics of capital-F "Fashion."

I still love getting dressed, being fly, and appreciating others who do the same, but the rapid consumer in vanished into the recycled air on that last transatlantic Delta flight. I only miss her occasionally.

(Image of Y Projects in Paris by Jessa Carter.)


In 2006, I walked into the editor in chief's office at the as-yet-unlaunched Seattle Met and changed my life. After seven years at an alternative weekly, I was being considered for the position of lifestyle editor at the magazine. I wanted that job—but I knew that the female-owned publishing umbrella had a style editor on the masthead of their Portland title, and what I really wanted was the Seattle version of that job—and I asked for it.

I got it, and more. In the almost-eight years I spent at Seattle Met, I tucked several more titles behind my name (including editorial director of our multi-city, hugely lucrative wedding mags), but more importantly I got an unforgettable conversation with the style, design, and retail community of this city. When I started, there was hardly such a community to speak of, but by the time I signed off, it was a vibrant, dynamic, and super rich scene. Not saying I did that—but I sure was happy to be a part of it.

(Poster design for the final year of the style-centric film fest that I co-produced with NWFF by Ria Leigh and Andre Mora.)