One of my most vivid memories of being 19 was sitting at a computer in my mouldy student flat in Peckham, crying. I had just read through an ADHD forum for the first time, and was so overwhelmed at how many stories were identical to parts of my life I had never quite made sense of. I had known from a young age that I was Dyslexic and Dyspraxic but ADHD was never considered, despite my inability to focus, my early struggles with making friends and my disorganisation. A few years later at 22 I was formally diagnosed and began the untangling of my life.
Being diagnosed helped me get my life back together. I originally left university with a 3rd in a 2-year FdA degree, and after returning to university post diagnosis I graduated with 1st class honours in my Illustration BA. I was having panicked breakdowns every couple of months, I've not had a single one since diagnosis. Most importantly, I am slowly learning to be kind and loving myself and my ADHD, instead of constantly beating myself down. There was a time before diagnosis where I thought my art was going to slip away from me, now I can't imagine my life without it.
ADHD has had a huge influence on how I create work! I've always been attracted to bright colours which led me to Risograph printing. I then reverse engineered my process from there. I either work digitally, or partially traditionally where I draw out each layer in black before scanning it in and adjusting the colours. A lot of the time my traditional work doesn't have a plan so the end result is often a complete surprise. I really enjoy that part of the process and it keeps my work exciting and makes creating a good image super rewarding. I love the zen state I can get into whilst creating work, it's an incredibly healing and meditative process for me.
I've made so much progress in the last 2 years, I'm so excited to see what I can achieve next. I still think back to that first moment of discovery, my 19 year self-realising she wasn't alone. I carry her with me every day, I hope I am doing her proud.