Art

Artist Spotlight: Abby @Colourblind_Zebra

Artist Spotlight: Colourblind_Zebra

What is your name and location? Abby, United Kingdom

What medium of art do you create? Digital artwork

“Go at your own pace” – Life with chronic illness can be overwhelming and all-consuming, it’s okay to take time to pause, breathe and take a step back.

What inspires you? The comments and messages that I get from my followers about how my art has helped them realize they aren’t alone in this journey inspires me and makes me passionate about continuing to raise awareness for both disability and chronic illness and the hurdles we face as a community.

What is your diagnosis? Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Bowel Dysmotility, Asthma

What advice do you have for a new artist that is looking to create or find an outlet?  Draw what makes your heart sing or lights a passion in your soul. You can’t go wrong from there.

“Medical Gaslighting” – Coming across a doctor who listens and takes your perspective into account during an appointment feels so amazing when all you’ve experienced is doctors who don’t listen and deny your own experiences. We should not have to fight for answers, we should not have to battle to be believed.

Share a little blurb about yourself and your art: I’m Abby, a disabled and chronically ill artist from the UK. I have been ill for 7 years, but only found answers as to why I’m ill about 4 years ago. For years I was told that my pain and what I was experiencing was all in my head. This led to me being misdiagnosed, mistreated and denied the treatment and care that I needed. Eventually I found answers, but I am still putting pieces of the puzzle together to this day. The years of emotional abuse and gaslighting I experienced really impacted my mental health and is one of the big reasons I am so passionate about fighting for awareness of the things we go through as a community.

I have always been creative, so when I bought an iPad in early 2019, I suddenly found a passion for digital drawing, specifically illustrations about chronic illness, disability and the issues facing those who have them. Since then, I have found some amazing friends and built a supportive community of lovely people. Each and every day I am excited to create, continue to spread the message of inclusivity and to support those who have been through difficult things just like me.

Instagram@Colourblind_Zebra

“But You Don’t Look Sick” – 96% of chronic illnesses are invisible. You can’t tell if someone is sick just by glancing at them. If you’ve ever had this comment directed at you, you aren’t alone. It’s a big misconception that needs to be combated.

 

“Makeup” – The assumption is made quite often that if a chronically ill person wears makeup, they must be feeling less ill on that day. For those of us who do have chronic illness, we know this isn’t true. After all, many people use makeup to instill a sense of self-esteem when otherwise it’d be hard to face the world.

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