Why I do what I do.

Photo by Stefan Haworth

Photo by Stefan Haworth

Hi amazing humans! 

Welcome to my creative space! After a few people nudging me in this direction and the whole New Years resolution thing, I thought it was about time I put my self doubts aside and started writing. And I thought it would only make sense to start at the beginning (of this whole creative journey) and share why it is that I do what I do. 

Painting has always been a passion of mine, always something I did as a hobby and my escape from the real world. I studied art for my HSC but never saw it as anything more. In 2016 I was happily studying Interior Design and had a pretty set plan for my future. A job in a design firm, working in Sydney and saving my money to buy a house. During July of that year, my plans were flipped upside down due to a back injury that left me unable to walk and in a wheelchair. Some of you will know this already and for those who don’t, I may consider doing a blog post on the details of this a little later. 

When you live a very “normal” life and then all of a sudden wake up one morning unable to walk, it truly feels like your world has been flipped upside down. I would spend my days laying in bed and as much as I hate to admit, feeling sorry for myself. I let the injury get the better of me at the beginning. Once time progressed and I understood my injury and what was going to happen, I knew I had to pick myself up and get on with it. I began to think about what I could still do, rather than the things I couldn’t and made a promise to myself that I would focus on them.

Each day I would remind myself, “If you can, you must”. There was absolutely nothing wrong with my arms and hands, they still worked perfectly so why wasn’t I making the most of them? This is when my passion for painting and creating was refuelled. My parents bought me an easel and each day would set me up in front of it, my paints all at a level I could reach and I would create. This helped me with my mental health more than I could ever imagine. For me, painting is both meditative and exciting. It pushes my imagination and distracted my mind from the situation I was in. I paint mostly fauna and flora and doing this would constantly remind me of how much beauty is in this world. It would remind me that despite going through one of the hardest periods of my life and even though I felt like there were so many things I could no longer do, I still had so much to be grateful for. 

Fast forward to where we are today, two surgeries later, a fused spine and a totally different outlook on life, I couldn’t be happier. I have never been more grateful to be able to paint. Due to ongoing issues that I naturally face given my injury, working for myself has been basically my only option. I can only sit and stand for short periods, need to lay down throughout the day and have a bathroom accessible always. Sometimes I think life threw me this curve ball to make me chase what I was truly passionate about. If my injury hadn't happened, I wouldn’t be trying to pursue a career as an artist. So for that, I am truly grateful. I have learnt so many things over the last couple of years, the greatest being to surrender to whatever situation you are presented and make the absolute most of it. We shouldn’t waste energy trying to go against what life presents us and just know that things happen for a reason, go with it and learn from it. Sometimes what seems like the worst situation ends up being the most magical. 

Jess x 

Jess Davis4 Comments