I have a BA in Graphic Design. I’m also a visual artist and writer. I’m very passionate about art in all forms as it has saved me countless times. I am the eldest of six children (three sisters and two brothers!) so I carried a lot of weight growing up. Despite this, my childhood was (in my eyes) perfect. I wouldn’t ask to change a single thing.

It wasn’t until high school/college did things start to change. Long story short, my “dad” (who I now refuse to regard as such) stopped paying bills, stopped buying us food, etcetera. He stopped supporting us with no warning. We lost the house, and soon after, I had to care for my mother and two of my sisters, the youngest of which wasn’t even four-years-old.

I was a full-time student and a full-time worker. Mental health was at an all-time low. And I wanted out, so very badly. (I thank my sister for talking me into staying in school and finishing. I would not have without her.)

Again, long story short, my aunt’s now caring for my mother and baby sister. The only downside is that I never get to see them, they’re over 2,000 miles away. Mental health runs on both sides of the family. Mom’s in a hospital trying to get better, and “dad’s” mental disorder(s) have hindered him from working ever again.

I still struggle. My brain still fights me. It will always be a part of me. But I refuse to give up on the people I love and care for, and I refuse to let my mind get the best of me. Art has saved me countless times. I would not be where I am today without what I do.