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Today we welcome Lindsey to our Q&A Blog with Michael Graves Design! Keep reading to find out more about her story.
Tell us about yourself, what’s your story?
I am a mixed-media artist from Oregon who also lives with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Ehlers Danlos. I’ve always turned to art as a way to relax (I’ve never met a medium I didn’t like), but it took a major diagnosis to really put my foot down and choose art. If I am going to have limited energy, I want to spend it doing something that fuels my creativity and curiosity. I have two young daughters, and want to set a strong example for them to prioritize their health, peace and whatever it may be that gives them drive. I would have never believed you if you told me ten years ago that I’d be a professional artist, with work collected across the US and internationally.
Tell us about your Colors of MS Project!
My Colors of MS project started in 2019, after I had painted an abstract painting based off of my own brain MRI. My diagnosis felt suddenly more manageable, and painting my MRI gave me permission to process my experiences in my own way. After receiving positive feedback from others in the MS community, I realized that I wanted to give this experience to other people.
Colors of MS as a project is two-part: giving space and a platform for others to share their diagnosis journey and outlook, and a reveal of the MRI artwork. My favorite thing about this process is that the day of the painting reveal can feel like a holiday morning…and how often do we as patients get to look forward to a new MRI result? I absolutely love this.
Since 2019 I have painted over 300 people’s MRI, across 34 US states and 14 countries. The project has been featured by Montel Williams, Health Magazine, and Brain & Life Magazine among others. Creating this experience for others gets me out of bed on my harder days, and has helped me create a career out of art in a way that accommodates my symptoms. I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who has contributed to this wild journey!
Do you have any future goals for your project?
I hope to be able to do a traveling show of MRI artwork someday, and to have the opportunity to meet the people I’ve painted for in person. Through my work, I’ve had the pleasure of developing friendships with so many people that have supported my patient and art journey.
I am most excited about working with the incredible team at ArtLifting, an organization that champions the work of disabled artists and artists experiencing housing insecurity. ArtLifting has created opportunities for my artwork to be installed in workplaces and spaces that I never envisioned having access to, so my current goal is to have the opportunity to install work in healthcare spaces across the US. As a patient I’ve always noticed the artwork in waiting spaces and appointment rooms, and cannot emphasize enough how impactful it can be to display meaningful artwork connected to patient experiences. Move over lavender fields and geese…let’s go with abstract brains!
Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
If you or your workplace would like to support my work, I have exclusive prints and originals available through ArtLifting and in downtown Portland Oregon at the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery
What do you love most about the company Michael Graves Design?
I have always enjoyed the timeless, thoughtful and whimsical designs of MGD - “The Teapot” is one I am always on the lookout for. I am delighted that this same attention is being paid to mobility devices now - thank you!
If you use one of our canes, which do you use? The C-Grip Cane or the Quick-Fold?
I have been using the C-Grip cane (in red sunbaked-clay) and have been so pleased with it. I don’t need to use a cane daily, but when I do, such a thoughtfully-designed (and stylish!) cane just makes your day better!
What do the Michael Graves Design canes bring to the table that others were lacking?
The C-Grip handle is so distinctive in style, but is also quite comfortable to grip. Adjusting the height of the cane is easy and smooth; other adjustable metal canes that I’ve used can have such an unpleasant adjustment mechanism (I always think I’ll pinch my fingers).
I will definitely be looking to add a MGD quick-fold cane to my collection someday soon.
Be sure to follow Lindsey on her socials: