Sarah TERESA Nelsen

founder + chief creator

…but, like you, I’ve got many identities.

i am mama. I am wife. I am riding on the beautiful and messy journey of marriage & motherhood. i navigate through a boulevard of broken and realized dreams…

I am sister, daughter, aunt. I am artist, singer, designer. I am lover of mountains and oceans and chocolate and wine. I am wanna-be sup yoga instructor and wanna-be certified sailor. i am three-time rescue pup mama.

I am survivor of and witness to hard times. i am therapy seeker and worrier. i am advocate of family adventures. i am biggest fan of showing our girls a broader view of people and the world beyond our community. i am leap-of-faith-taking-believer in jesus.

i am trying to be courageous to reach beyond boundaries, borders, and walls to bring love, mercy, and grace in the form of the arts to you.


Woven through each strand of my whole identity, is my steady, life-giving heartbeat for inspired, bold visual communication. I also just adore meeting new people and hearing their stories.

My husband, our two daughters, and the crazy, big world around us fuel my creativity and teach me what love really is.

Our two big, loud, and wild rescue pups keep me on my toes and on top of my mess-cleaning game.

Our simple, fixer-upper home just outside of Pittsburgh keeps us always trying to find some light and smiles in the clouds, rainy days, and sawdust.

The creative arts is in my bones. Educationally, I’m armed with a BA in graphic design & integrative arts from Penn State and a handful of Masters courses in sustainable design from MCAD. For more than a decade, I’ve owned and lead a successful boutique graphic design & photography studio, Sarah Nelsen Designs. 

I’ve lived in the mountains of the West (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) and the deserts of the Southwest (Rancho Mirage, California), I’m currently settled in the hills of the Mid-east (Pittsburgh, PA). My time in Australia was a memory of wild adventures, foreigner friends, and a whole new world on the other side of the earth. I always have yearned for the richness, simplicity, and rejuvenating qualities of natural outdoor spaces and you might find me hiking with my kids and great dane boxer or paddle-boarding on the local lake. It is here in Pittsburgh, I grew up, left, and returned. That alone is a story in itself and with that, I will leave you to explore Atlas Art Press.

Peace, Sarah


I knew it was coming, but so close to the last one? It was the fourth loss of life in three months [with more coming]. I was crushed for my friends and family who were the closest to the lost. I was mentally walking towards this next funeral with a nicely overflowing rucksack of heartbreak and emotional exhaustion slung over my shoulder. It wasn’t just the loss of loved ones, my life had been wringing tears out of me for 14 months.

Armed with the usual safe lineup of weapons (counseling, prayer, exercise, yoga, support from friends, etc), I began to responsibly combat my sadness, stress, fear, and anxiety. Gazing at my two young daughters made me feel intense gratitude and love, but my well of weariness was still brimming over. Releasing what was held captive inside to the outside, became a necessity. Vigorously scribbling words and pulling out my dusty pencils and charcoal to sketch became my outlet. I was pulling from the dark in my heart and looking at it in the light on paper.

What happened? Writings turned into a blog (then atlasoflight.com). Sadness began to dissipate. Art creations accompanied the writings. I felt release and full of joy, not weariness. I reached out for feedback. Others could relate. They felt what I felt. I was asked to create a custom sympathy gift of art and writing. Then again and again. I found there was a deep desire to communicate with those in the messiest parts of life, but most people don’t know how. We were born from messiest parts of life. The mess is real and we’re here to help you find beauty in it.


Atlas Art Press creates bold, inspired gifts for those experiencing the messiest parts of life. When you don’t have the words, our products speak, replacing weariness and despair with courage and grace, so you can confidently face life’s challenges.