Thursday, March 29, 2012

AnonMS

First off, I want to say that opening up a beautiful, brand new book seeing this:
(top right)


And this:


And this:


 between the covers never, ever gets old.
It's an incredible rush, every single time.

My copy of Seth Apter's new book, The Pulse of Mixed Media arrived on Tuesday. I've already read it cover to cover and...well...WOW! I knew it was going to be great, but it far exceeded my expectations. 

The best part for me was combing through to see how many of the artists were personal friends and how many are new to me. I never know who else is contributing to a particular book until I have a copy in my hands, so there's always that element of surprise for me. Seth's book was a delightful mixture of both familiar faces and artists I haven't crossed paths with before.


Here's the original of AnnonMS, which I still haven't gotten around to framing. 
I wanted to talk a little bit about it. 

Seth asked us to create a piece of art that depicted our greatest fear. In all honesty, it takes something pretty significant to scare me. There was really only one thing I could think of talking about, because it poses a real and present danger in my life and that's living with Multiple Sclerosis.

I've talked about MS here on my blog, but only from time to time, mainly because I believe that whatever you give attention to, dictates your intention and I really don't want MS to be the focus of my life, or my blog. The funny thing is that as I go about living my life, I seem to have evolved into what I jokingly refer to as a "closet MS activist". I'm certainly not bucking to be the poster child for MS, but the opportunity to share my experience of this disease (which affects every aspect of my life, including my artistic life ) with others keeps appearing. I feel like if I can use what's happening to me to help someone else, whether through educating future doctors, mentoring a young person living with MS, serving on a city committee to improve accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities or simply creating a piece of art that speaks to my experience, then it's my responsibility to do so.

I trust Seth implicitly and when he asked, I knew that if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and brutally honest, the work would be received in the spirit with which it was intended. My instincts were right. Seth got it and his editor, Tonya got it. It makes me really happy that I took the risk to stand up and show my soul and that this was the piece they chose for the book. I think that as an artist, it's important to honour not just the good things in my life, but also the things that I struggle with. In order to authentically tell my story, I need to embrace all of it. There's beauty in the truth, even if parts of it are harder to acknowledge. 

4 comments:

Holly Dean said...

Brave and talented. You go girl! I'm so thrilled that you were included in Seth's book - it is such a rush, isn't it? :)

g. said...

i love this piece?! i get it. and i cannot wait for my copy of the book to arrive! as always, inspired by you L!
hugs.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

The secrets and fears sections of the book were certainly the most powerful sections for me and I loved your piece. The book really is incredible and exceeded my expectations too. Congratulations.

Seth said...

I was moved and touched by your powerful Lelainia the moment I saw it. And the words that accompanied it just made it even stronger. Thank you for sharing yourself on the pages of my book.