2021 IAES Virtual
~Celia Fermon~ Mexico
~Julia King~IAES’ resident artist~
I like the irony of the fact I have an invisible illness – behind my normal, healthy looking exterior hides a Zebra. But in this artwork, the Zebra covers part of my face, almost as a reminder that while the Zebra is there and still very much a part of my life, I am still in here, I am more than just “sick”. This illness doesn’t define me, but it is all consuming . I am still positive for antibodies so still actively fighting this illness but I am determined not to let it beat me or take away my positivity despite an ongoing struggle with lots of symptoms. Before I got sick Art was always my escape and something I loved you do. Since being sick my skill, style, choice of medium and subject matter has changed dramatically and I find it much harder to create art now. But with the support and encouragement of IAES I have been drawing zebras as a way of processing all my emotions and putting and picture to my symptoms. I hope that my Zebra art is helping to raise much needed awareness of this illness, and is hope it helps other AE Warriors to smile when they recognize the emotion or symptom I am describing in my
art, and helping them to feel less alone in this battle.
16 yr. old AE Warrior
I started drawing about two years after I was diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. My wife suggested I start coloring as a therapy of sorts. Not long after my first coloring page, I began drawing. I truly have enjoyed the benefits of art. It, without question, takes my mind off of the physical and emotional pain that AE brings.
‘Praying for healing’
Jill had no art training prior to AE. She began attending weekly open studio art workshops offered by a local gallery during her AE treatment. She continues to explore acrylic painting and photography as an expressive outlet. Art is healing!!
Tattoo on left forearm of a portrait of a zebra with it’s mane on fire symbolizing “brain on fire” and medical mysteries. @TonyTattoo_NJ from @Marketstreettattoocompany in Morristown , NJ made my vision into a fantastic drawing that he tattooed onto my arm.
I chose the zebra as the symbol of the zebra actually salutes those who have been through a tough time but has kept their free-spirit and it also symbolizes the free and wild spirit that lives in everyone and because of this trait, the zebra spiritual totem is a symbol of freedom. To me the stripes represent that there is both good and bad, similar, and opposite in the world. This helps to symbolize that there isn’t just one path in life and as each zebra has their own set of stipes, meaning none being the same as another, everyone’s journey in life takes a different path. Some may have a few u turns and some may come across a few stop signs and some may even just be the lucky ones who get every green light and just fly through life. There are middle-grounds in the world, and the zebra can help us to see this. Another reason why I chose the zebra is that it represents this particular autoimmune group that I relate deeply to and have learnt so much from. The mask that the zebra wears represents new life and growth with the butterflies, the plants and flowers that are connected on the mask.