I am a white, gender-fluid, queer person living with neurodiversity and an autoimmune disorder. I’m also a lifelong artist with a BFA in graphic design and a minor in psychology. I’ve been a graphic designer for 11 years. I’m in my final year of the Lewis & Clark Art Therapy program. I’m from a conservative, middle-class, blue-collar family in southern Illinois. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder in 2021, and recently, four months ago, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My life has changed drastically since I enrolled in the Art Therapy program at Lewis & Clark. The program has given me the space and support I needed during these life transitions. Even though I am still working through the many changes, it has only helped my understanding of the clients that I serve at my internship site.
The art has progressed as I have progressed this semester. I am not a strong sewer, nor is this a medium I use regularly. Working with this medium was complicated and overwhelming. Simultaneously, I have been navigating the transitions in my life. The summer of 2023 was the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. The mustard yellow spiral is where I am at the beginning of my transition. It represents the more significant, overwhelming parts that haven’t taken shape yet, and in the center is where I see the work I’ve done creating a new foundation. Creating this piece reflects my experience of learning how to take care of myself. This piece is still not finished, but neither am I.