Art allows me to reflect upon and control now what I could not control in the past. In my works, I give the viewer the opportunity to “see through my eyes” and derive their own experience from mine. I depict memories that have had a profound effect on me: surgeries, prolonged hospital stays, near-death experiences, partial paralysis, intense recovery/physical therapy, and coping mechanisms as an Achondroplastic dwarf in a very tall world.
I use art as a way to find a sense of closure—whether it’s about these certain traumatic events or having to cope with unresolved heath problems. When I revisit these events in my works, I want to convey the same emotion that I felt when it was happening to me— emotions such as anxiety, fear, depression, acceptance—as well as themes like perseverance. Only this time, instead of feeling powerless while everything was happening around me and to me, I am the one with the paintbrush, and therefore, I have the control.
For over a decade, my works used traditional media—mostly painting. However, my teaching experience with Graphic Design at USC has inspired me to combine the traditional practices with newer technology—both raster and vector-based. Due to my health problems and inability to climb ladders, it was a relief to discover how to incorporate my past inspiration with programs that give me the ability to transform my images into a larger scale without unnecessary physical exertion. Although my work does serve the purpose of being my own self- therapy, I am also inspired to treat it like I am recording my own testimony, showing what I have been through and how far I have come.