When life changes you, you have no choice but to adapt. This has been the case for me over the last year. After college art was something I ran from. Get a nice mystery illness and you find yourself running back to it. It's a way to express, but also something I have control over the outcome. Art has been my way out. My voice, when I don't want to use words.
I mostly like to use watercolor and a variety of other mediums. I see most of my work in daydreams, so sometimes it's hard to get it out on paper to look just right. I wanted to tell a story with my work but leave enough room for the viewers imagination.
This project was the first goal I set for myself after being released from the hospital in October 2014 and the first one I have been able to achieve. This illness as changed my outlook on life, and how I approach my work as an artist.
I've enjoyed the experience of creating this piece. At times it was a struggling to keep with it, but I am certainly glad I did. I hope it can inspire one person to keep trying. Keep pushing through. Just keep breathing. It will always be worth it!
The handwritten text in the sketchbook can be a little hard to read so I included the text below:
Breathe In. We grow up thinking life is simple and most of the time fun. We simply play. We simply laugh. We simply have fun. Do you remember the day that all stopped for you? Breathe out.
Breathing. In and out. Over and over. Every day, without a thought. Until you can't. Until one day your lungs fill up with a war of infections. Breathing. Something so simple and mindless becomes the hardest challenge. Something that could end it all. You fight for your life. You fight against your lungs that have turned against you. You cheer on your heart. You pray it keeps beating. The sound of the heart monitor beeping becomes the most soothing sound. You know what it means. You know it means you're still alive.
You still have a bit of hope. You beg for more time, but no one can win over time. At some point you have to make a decision. This is going to be messy. Can you fight through it? Breathe In. You have to ask yourself if you're made of more than a combination of bones, organs, and flesh. All those things can break, but will you allow them to do the same with your life. Breathe out.
Sit up straight. Broaden your shoulders. You hear that sound? I'm alive still
Breathe in. Spread your arms out like a tree. Breathe out. This is your fight. Let those around you start to fall away when things become difficult. Stand tall. You learn this isn't for them to understand. Let others believe they can rebuild you, even when you know they can't. You put all your trust in someone else to save you. Someone you've never met holds your life, your future in their hands. Breath in. You are not interested in dying. You have no interest in loosing this fight. Your lungs do not get to win. Your heart does. Breathe out. This is your new starting line, your arena. How well you play is up to you.
So, do you remember that day? The day it all changed. The day you realized this life was no longer simple. You realized that no matter how beautiful something can be it doesn't last. Breathe In. Everything is temporary. Your relationships, your people, your life. It could all be gone tomorrow. But listen to that sound. Beep. Beep. Beep. Let that be your true north. Follow it. Just to see where it leads you. Breathe out. Go
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