Babies Know the way of the world and he understands his mother’s mortality.
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In 1997, when I was in the eighth grade, I woke up to excruciating abdominal pain, relentless nausea, and uncontrollable vomiting one evening; nearly twenty-five years later, the pain has not stopped. Since 1997, I have been diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome and abdominal migraines, both rare and misunderstood disorders. Since then, my illness has dictated much of my life since then, keeping me from opportunities, imprisoning me in my bed, and influencing my vision for life and art. Though I could have grown depressed and bitter (and I have been at times), I have learned to transform my pain into purpose and my trauma into treasure. As such, my art comes from that place of transcendence, when finding beauty in the darkest of moments shines brightest. In this way, my art is a practice of radical acceptance. I use beauty, chaos, and the grotesque in nature and in my life to explore what freedom and justice mean for failing and captive bodies. Currently, I create both fluid and digital art, which are at two different ends of the spectrum. Fluid art represents going with and accepting the ebb and flow of life. At the same time, it is chaotic and uncontrollable like nature, like my body. On the other hand, digital art is structured and is one of the few places I have complete control over something unlike my body. Thus, how I create art speaks to the multiplicities of life and makes space for expansiveness in art and in our lives. Through my art, my hope is to inspire my audience to transform their pain into purpose, their trauma into treasure, and inspire faith, hope, and love to the voiceless. My art challenges societies practice of pathologizing the individual, not the systems that contribute to dis-ease, and to inspire other people who are chronically ill to recognize their superpower, whatever it may be.