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Susan O'Malley // Advice from My 80-Year-Old Self

$ 28.00

What advice would your 80-year-old self give you? That is the question artist Susan O'Malley, who was herself to die far too young, asked more than a hundred ordinary people of every age, from every walk of life. She then transformed their responses into vibrant text-based images. From a prompt to do things that matter to your heart, to a reminder that it's okay to have sugar in your tea, these are calls to action and words to live by—heartfelt, sometimes humorous, and always fiercely compassionate. This stirring celebration of our collective humanity unveils the wisdom we hold inside ourselves right now.

In Susan's words: "I wanted to create this project because I think it’s easy to forget how wise we can be. We resist our internal wisdom because of fear, fatigue, inconvenience or any number of reasons. Also, I like to hear other people’s advice. It reminds me that we are different versions of each other trying to make our way through this life.  And sometimes other people’s words magically express exactly what I’m thinking but can’t seem to pull together.  My hope is that these community-authored public service announcements will reflect back – even if momentarily – our inner brilliance and perhaps allow a brief space to gently listen to our own advice."


  • Published by Chronicle Books
  • 7.6" x 0.6 x 10.4 in
  • 128 pp



Susan O'Malley (1976–2015) was an artist and curator from the San Francisco Bay Area. The impact of her inspiring work has traveled far and wide and her art has been exhibited in public projects around the globe.


See more of Susan's work HERE.