As a skilled, right-handed artist in high school, I had planned to attend college after I graduated in 2007 to study painting. My plans changed instantly when on July 7, 2007, I suffered a traumatic left-brain injury. I lost my ability to speak, and the right side of my body was paralyzed. I was not expected to live. After several months in the hospital, I became aware that I may never paint again. While I was grateful that I survived, it was a devastating blow. After years of therapy, I regained my speech and the use of my right leg, but never regained use of my right hand.
It has been fifteen years since the accident and I achieved many goals, including receiving a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from California State University – Fullerton.
Epilepsy has influenced my art significantly because after my accident I started painting with my left hand. While my early art included pencil drawings and was very tight and literal, my new art is much more fluid and – to me – has more meaning. It is greatly inspired by my experience of trauma and recovery. The submission “Can’t Sleep” came from my inability to sleep following my accident.