I was a budding art student when I had a serious traumatic brain injury that resulted in a coma and near death experience. When I came back to my body I was paralysed down half of my body, had lost 90% of my brain function and had to relearn how to do everything again, but the most soul destroying thing was I completely lost my creative channel. I didn’t know how to create in the same way and I had to totally relearn how to create.
The silver lining to the brain injury is that I developed synaesthesia, where all my senses are interlinked. It also changes like the weather, so I can taste colour, I can see colour in music, I can see images within images. For example, looking at a bare tree trunk I can see branches in the tree, I can see thousands of shapes and patterns. It’s like my senses are all interconnected, all interlinked and mishmashed together. I can see the aetheric energy in the auric field around people. It’s a really exciting way to create because it is a totally multisensory experience. When I’m making something, I’m doing it through my senses.
I have been traditionally trained, I did a degree in Fine Art and succeeded, but actually, how I work, and how my brain and body work now, I am an outsider artist, how I create is my own unique, multisensory, multifaceted way. I like to use mixed media and create layers upon layers and textures upon textures to try and explain my synaesthetic experience of how I am emotionally, physically, sensorywise experiencing what I’m creating.
At the same time, I find nature is my biggest inspiration. Colours, reflections, patterns, layers upon layers. I like vibrant work. I use my work as a form of therapy, art therapy, it creates a very big healing space in me and creates a lot of calmness in my nervous system, but the issue I have, being an outsider artist with my frontal lobe memory issues, is organising and structuring myself as an artist to be able to put my work out into the world, to be able to share my work and my story with others. I struggle to be able to organise. I’m brilliant at creating, but I just don’t know how to do the other part and that is where I fall short, because I’ve got a whole lifetime’s worth of work yet to be experienced by the world. That’s the next stage of my development as an artist, even though in my fine art degree I learned how to do that, neurologically, cognitively and concentration wise, I really struggle, because I still have a hidden disability and chronic pain, chronic fatigue, sensory issues, chronic migraine, sensory sensitivity in a negative way as well, but art is my freedom and liberation. I don’t feel disabled when I create, I feel like the channel of creative energy is strong within me because I’ve practiced every day. I developed my own unique style based on ideas that I created when I was about three years old. I like to work with how I feel drawn and how I’m sensing the experience of how I’m creating something. I never know what the finished outcome is, I enjoy the process.
I enjoy sharing creativity and creatively collaborating with others, but I’m not actually sure how to do that structurally, as I need somebody to be the admin part of my brain and help me structure myself professionally in the world, because of all my dreams and desires to share my creativity and passion with others and collaborate with others.
I also for the past 15 years have taught creativity to traumatised adults, brain injured adults and adults with impairments and severe learning disability spectrum. I have worked with the most impaired, blind, deaf, cognitively damaged people and they’ve created the most beautiful things, because creativity is an energy that comes through you and works with you, you generate something into the world and you draw it back. What that means is, if you look at children, they are the most creative beings within themselves, and I believe creativity frees your inner child.
I am never not amazed by the sun, lighting, and all the different aspects of shades, textures and patterns in nature, that’s where I draw all of my inspiration from. I can see images within images and having synaethesia, I can’t switch it off. It’s my whole worldly sensory experience and I find it very calming. I just love to create, I love to allow the energy to flow freely through me. I can do structured pieces of work and I am traditionally trained but I don’t get the same enjoyment out of it. So my work is very patterned and textured and nature inspired, but I like to use shiny, bright, vibrant colours and patterns, and mixed media in my work. I also like to challenge myself to do things with the wrong hand, or paint with my feet or use other body parts, because I think you can be too stuck in your ways and I love the creative exploring process, like a child, when it comes to art.
I am an outsider artist with my cognitive and invisible health issues and disability, and what I really would love help with is to take my art and share with the world and take it to the next level because I believe that it’s been a very healing journey for me to create this and I think that other people might take benefit from the vibrancy and the textures and colours that I create and see into the synaesthetic world.