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Opportunities For Narcoleptic Artists


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#1 Artsy-gal_90

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:52 PM

I've noticed that many people who are diagnosed with Narcolepsy often use art to visually express their frustrations and emotions, yet I've not been able to find many Narcoleptic Artists. I am a studio art major, recently diagnosed with narcolepsy (with cataplexy) and I am currently searching for Narcoleptic artists interested in sharing their experiences and advice for my major thesis paper. Is there any advice anyone has to offer an artist just starting out? I was given an opportunity by my school to present a body of art work about narcolepsy in our local art gallery, but along with my work I must submit a thesis paper about my plans for the future as a Narcoleptic artist. I am completely lost as to how to be independent as an artist and as a person with narcolepsy but I'm determined to do so. Are their any artist opportunities? Or words of advice you are able to offer? Any help or responses would be absolutely wonderful! Thanks for your time.

#2 Asleeper

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:32 PM

Hi, I am an artist with narcolepsy. I mostly paint in in acrylics but will also draw sometimes. I used to do oils but still prefer the acrylics. Not that I support myself by selling paintings but I have painted all of my life and consider it an important part of who I am. The paintings i do sell are usualy by word of mouth rather than by any attemps at marketing. I have worked many jobs from ski resorts to factory jobs. For the last 13 years I have worked in an art shop. It is an opportunity to pass on what I know and inspire other would be artists.
The biggest problem is motivation but once I have started a painting it will keep me awake until I drop at midnight. I think my narcolepsy has helped me see the world from different perspectives. I do wish that I could remember more from my dreams to use in my paintings.
I did one painting about narcolepsy I called "Waking Up" . I tried to portray the choice of staying inside and sleeping and dreaming or waking up, embracing the day and going outside and doing something. I have a Facebook page called Thomas Walsh and it is posted there if you would like to see it.
Let me know if you have any questions

#3 Artsy-gal_90

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

Hi, I am an artist with narcolepsy. I mostly paint in in acrylics but will also draw sometimes. I used to do oils but still prefer the acrylics. Not that I support myself by selling paintings but I have painted all of my life and consider it an important part of who I am. The paintings i do sell are usualy by word of mouth rather than by any attemps at marketing. I have worked many jobs from ski resorts to factory jobs. For the last 13 years I have worked in an art shop. It is an opportunity to pass on what I know and inspire other would be artists.
The biggest problem is motivation but once I have started a painting it will keep me awake until I drop at midnight. I think my narcolepsy has helped me see the world from different perspectives. I do wish that I could remember more from my dreams to use in my paintings.
I did one painting about narcolepsy I called "Waking Up" . I tried to portray the choice of staying inside and sleeping and dreaming or waking up, embracing the day and going outside and doing something. I have a Facebook page called Thomas Walsh and it is posted there if you would like to see it.
Let me know if you have any questions



Thank you so much for your positive feedback! I think one of the biggest things that scares me, is not being an artist or not having time for art in my life. I've only heard how difficult the life of an artist can be, and I hope that somehow I will still be able to make art (as a career or not) once I get out of college. I admire you for keeping up with your art, even if it's just sporadically, and manage narcolepsy with a job! I saw your painting on Facebook, it's beautiful! I love the planets hanging from the ceiling, and the landscape in the background! You used a very interesting "cool" color palette. Thanks for showing it to me! If I may ask, has narcolepsy affected your painting/drawing style at all? My art used to be very realistic, even my paintings, and I worked in pen and ink, on portraits, landscapes, etc. But once I was diagnosed, my art became so loose that it now looks impressionistic and I only feel like painting in the brightest colors I can find. My professor noticed that I lately only want to work on big canvases and said it could be me trying to stay engaged and awake. I wondered if any other artists were experiencing things like this? Do you intend to make any other art about dreams or narcolepsy? In "Waking Up" and in any other pieces, do you want your viewers to receive any messages about Narcolepsy or are the meanings of your art private? Please don't feel like you have to answer any more questions; I've asked a lot!! Again, thank you so much for the help you've already given!

#4 Asleeper

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:06 AM

Artsey, I'm glad you liked my Awake painting. It was nice to hear an artists perspective. That is the only narcolepsy painting that I have ever done. When I started painting I used to do a lot of surrealism but now I strive to be normal. That's not to say that I won't do another narcoleptic painting in the future. I would like to do anything that can help the general population to understand us better.
I tend to paint realistically. If I paint too loosely I end up reaching for the small brushes and tightening it up anyway. When I was starting to paint, I was a real fan of Andrew Wyath so I also tended to paint in muted colors with a six color pallet. Now that I work in an art store I get a lot of free samples and discounted tubes I have expanded my color selection. I have been working with warm and cool color combinations, contrasting combinations and some persistantance of color effects.
It was back in high school, my art teacher used to talk to us about the life af an artist that we should expect. He treated us like we were already the artists we hoped to become. He told us that we should expect to have to work to support our art. Now that I know a lot of artists, I see that few of them actually support themselves through thier art. But they don't let that stop them from doing their art. I sell a few pieces from time to time to help pay for materials. What I feel is more important is to get my work out where it can be seen and enjoyed by people. This may finding locations to hang my pictures where they may not sell but will be seen. This may mean giving paintings to people I know so that they can hang them in their homes to enjoy everyday. Someone just may see those painting and ask if I have others to sell.
It seem that I have had narcolepsy since I was a child so I do not ever remember being normal other than occasional day where for some reason I would be uncharisticaly alert. So I really can't compare my paintings before and after onset. It sounds like your narcolepsy started in the last few years so you are able to see what diference it has made in your art. I think it is now up to you to decide if you want narcolepsy to affect you art or if you will be stubborn and force it to be what YOU want it to be.
I don't think you should worry about finding time for art in you life. If it is what you want to do and you have the inspiration your art will force you to find time. You will have no choice.
This is rather long. Is there somewhere where you paintings are posted so I and maybe others on this forum can see them?

Tom

#5 Artsy-gal_90

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:17 PM

Tom,

Your in-depth response has given me a lot to think about; thank you so much for putting the time into it! I think the responses I've gotten from you and others on the network will really help me to steer myself in the direction I want to go. I came to a realization while forming my paper; that I paint my nightmares, hallucinations, troubles etc. in a way that I see as beautiful (with bright colors and vivid lines). That way I can change my own perception and come to terms with N myself. I actually had a recurring nightmare, of this skeletal woman, and I decided to paint it in these vivid yellows and blues on a huge canvas that I made with my boyfriend. The next time I had the nightmare, the creature appeared in the colors I painted, and in the dream I was able to say "I created you..." and it vanished. I feel that if I continue to do as I'm doing now, I can get somewhere. A professor of mine said that he thought my colors were "too bright" and vivid, and another said that if I were to paint dreams/hallucinations exclusively (which I don't...I get bored if I paint the same thing over and over)no one would really care about "the message." But I think the wide variety of reactions I get from people is rather interesting. What you said about putting your art out into the world, even in places it won't sell, was very inspiring. I am trying to do just that, and I submitted a painting (not a crazy dream painting, although my brushstrokes might be considered crazy :P ) to a local restaurant and am waiting to hear back from them. As to your question about my art, I'm trying to put together a "more professional" looking website, but with my studio art classes it could be Thanksgiving before I can get it "up and running." It would be under ShannonMarshallart.com, but for now it will say I have a redirect loop. I'm considering making a separate facebook page just for my artwork as well. So much to do so little awake time :P. Thanks again for the feed back, it really helps. And don't worry so much about making art "normal," normal is such a strong word that can't really be defined anyway. If you love what you paint then you're on the right track (although this is the opinion of someone who is naive about the world in general). I'll try not to worry so much about it, and keep applying to opportunities that open up.

-Shannon

#6 Asleeper

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:29 AM

Shannon,
Will you be posting or sending me a copy of your thesis paper when it is completed?
I will also keep an eye out for your web page when you get it up and running.
Tom