Shattered: Art and Coping
In the last 2 years I have learned more about digital art and adapting my creativity to technologies I can participate in with my new health challenges. It’s unfortunate that many artists still don’t recognize digital art forms as “real art.” If you are one of those artists, I encourage you to reconsider by taking the time to evaluate mixed media further. I’ve always loved working with my hands and being artistic, but when my CRPS pain condition went from my leg to also causing problems with my head and brain, ongoing migraine, intense eye pain, sensitivity to light, passing out disorder, heart, etc., it has kept me from participating in the arts like I used to. If you are an artist or crafter, you may understand the need to move around while doing your work- this I can no longer do.
I belong to a group on facebook called Chronically Inspired that encourages people with different types of disabilities and limitations to use art as a coping tool and provides a supportive sharing community. The group has helped motivate me a great deal; I feel the projects themselves have been therapeutic in my mood and overall recovery. Because of this group, I feel more free to share my work and I’m excited to show this piece to you, kind readers!
I created this project for Nervember/ Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month. It was inspired by this awesome piece of art by Rosalie Gascoigne called “Party Piece” from 1988 (as seen below). She cut and pieced together reflective road signs- I loved the idea.
To begin my project, I created an InfoGraphic (a digital image conveying information) that both met the needs for my project as well as expressed information about CRPS/RSD for Awareness. Surprisingly, my infographic as seen below was shared and displayed by many people throughout November even though it was only created to be cut up. I used Picmonkey.com for the first time to create this poster.
Lastly, the most fun part, was cutting up the above poster and piecing it back together. (I used both Picmonkey.com and Powerpoint.) I knew it would be a tedious project, but I didn’t realize it would be so cathartic. I was cutting into pieces a poster I had spent time making look visually appealing- now it was a mess in pieces all over my computer screen and I had no idea how to reassemble it. The assemblage took so much longer than the above poster, it’s much less visually appealing and makes a lot less sense- yet the effort was so much greater. It reminded me of living with chronic illness.
RSD/ CRPS, and chronic illness cuts us into pieces, too. We have to rebuild our lives and figure it out as we go. Hopefully, we make sense of it along the way. It may not look pretty or make sense to others, but that’s ok. It probably won’t look the same as before, but we can make something new and special once again. I hope this piece is a reminder of how far you have come in making a way on your own fractured journey.
My favorite part of the finished piece is that new words and meanings emerged- if you look closely, you may find some new meanings of your own within the mess. Enjoy looking!
Thank you for allowing me to share my work with you. My 2 posters I created are free to be shared or Pinned.