The moment I woke up after surgery on my broken neck, I knew I was lucky to be alive. And while that was at once an excruciating, traumatic event, it was also a watershed moment of happiness and joy. I now keep that front and center in everything I do.
I recognize many artists might use the pain, despair, fear, and loneliness that I experienced as an emotional engine for their work. But for me, that is the last thing I want to do. I never revisit those days and months of suffering. Instead, I only look forward to each new episodic adventure throughout the day. I bullied myself into accepting my new life – pity, remorse and lamenting the past are of no use to me – because I understand how it could easily have been worse. Therefore, I quite literally wake up every day with Christmas morning excitement and try to pour that energy into my paintings.