Friday, December 11, 2015

Art Profiled in Australian News Outlet

Last Summer, I was profiled in an Australian news outlet about the accident that changed my life.  Acquired Savantism comes with a great deal of interest from people that find it hard to believe that one day I could be a left brain CEO and the next an Artist. But it happened to me, and it has happened to several other individuals worldwide.  Dr. Darold Treffert is the expert in this field, and he has been instrumental in raising awareness about this neurological phenomenon.  As with anything, once the transformation was embraced, it ultimately became a gift. Note - there are some inaccuracies below.....but that's what happens when someone else tells the story!


Before accident: Business strategist.
After accident: Painter.
Four years ago, I’d stopped on the way home at one of those warehouse supermarkets with my daughter. I was unloading shopping into the boot of my 4WD, when suddenly the hatch fell and caught the back of my skull.
It all happened very quickly. It didn’t knock me out, but I crumbled to my knees. My teeth snapped together so hard I thought I’d broken some for sure. My daughter began to cry in the trolley, so I pulled myself up and managed to buckle her up in the car.
I only lived five minutes away, so I decided I was OK and drove home. I walked through the door, passed my daughter to my husband, then collapsed in bed and slept for hours. When I woke up, I could tell my brain wasn’t functioning properly. I only went to the hospital when my sister told me over the phone that I sounded drunk.
At hospital, I passed certain motor-function tests, but failed basic cognitive ones. I couldn’t draw a clock – I’d draw one, think I did it right, but then my neurologist would look at me and say, “You have no idea what’s wrong with it, do you?”
Over the next few months, my condition only worsened. I became extremely sensitive to light and sounds, and I couldn’t even leave the house eventually. I couldn’t walk – I know I knew how to, but the whole world seemed tilted. Eventually I couldn’t even leave my room, where I stayed for four months.
I only began painting at the advice of a neighbour, who said it might help. I used my daughter’s paint kit, and tried to paint something. I remember it was fairly basic – but the colours seemed to jump right out at me. I felt like I had this deep understanding of them. It’s hard to put into words.
While it doesn’t seem that significant, painting completely changed the direction of my life. I never had an interest in art at all – I’ve always been a left-brained person. I didn’t even want to paint in high school. Before the accident, I was working as a nationally recognised entrepreneur and business strategist in the US. I was delivering keynote presentations all around the country. Whereas now, I have to paint all the time – it’s like my hands have a mind of their own.
I do consider my accident a blessing, painting helped my mind heal. But it’s still essential for my brain to function properly, because without a creative outlet I struggle to focus on things and my mind becomes exhausted.
For example, I’m studying a master degree in psychology  [correction - Theology] at the moment, and in class I have to use colour to take notes. On one side of my page I’ll write the notes, and on the other I’ll capture the information in my own way in splashes of colour. It’s hard to believe, but they always seem to represent what I learn in each class.


Read Full Article

No comments:

Post a Comment