And then I realised she was me- A journey in drawings.

David Hayward
2 min readJan 13, 2021

In 2010, I underwent a traumatic transition in my life. I realized I felt trapped in so many areas of my life. I was very unhappy… with my job, my relationships, my financial situation… everything! All I knew was I wanted to be free.

Art has always been my escape. As a spontaneous and almost subconscious act of catharsis, I started drawing images of a woman.

The images came to me for about two years. They just flowed. I didn’t plan them or apply any effort. I just sat down and started drawing. The Sophia Series is the creative product of those sessions.

One day it dawned on me that these drawings weren’t just random pictures, but were the articulation of my interior life’s journey through spiritual, emotional, intellectual and social transition.

I realized that Sophia was me.

Sophia ‘Metamorphosis’

Initially, Sophia finds herself oppressed in so many ways. Collectively, the drawings begin to reveal her inner strength as a force that impels her towards personal freedom. From feeling trapped to living free!

There are 59 drawings, with 59 meditations, that chronicle her journey. These have been made into a book that is intended to inspire freedom of thought and personal power.

Today, Sophia doesn’t just represent me.

People all around the world have Sophia hanging in their home to remind them of her story, of our story, of what’s been and what’s coming.

People around the world with Sophia prints and apparel.

Here’s my free guide to deconstructing your beliefs or if you’re looking to dive a bit deeper here is my course “How to Survive the Deconstruction of your Beliefs”. And if you need a bit of a creative outlet, you can get some of my pieces to color in for yourself, here!

David Hayward is the NakedPastor. After 30 years in the church, he left the ministry to pursue his passion for art. NakedPastor uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who struggle and suffer under it.

David is no stranger to belief systems — he holds a Masters in Theological Studies, as well as Diplomas in Religious Studies and Ministry, and University Teaching. His art expresses the stories and struggles of spiritual refugees and independent thinkers who question, doubt or oppose the confines of religion. Each piece encourages difficult conversations and acts as a catalyst for critical thinking.

David is on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and also has a SubReddit. Join the NakedPastor community. Join the conversation. Feel free.

David Hayward

I use words and art to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who struggle and suffer under it.