Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hello! I’m a giant nerd who loves the geeky and weird, who thanks creatures of the deep, who loves drinking oversteeped tea under the night sky. I’m Jewish, gay, and disabled.
What are your mediums?
I perform aerial arts, I draw digitally, and I occasionally paint or write.
Why is art important to you?
Art gives me an emotional outlet and a sense of grounding. It helps me express myself or tell a story in a non-speaking way, and allows me to see into the visions and creativity of others as well.
How has art helped you communicate as a non or semi speaking disabled person?
I try my best to dance, perform, and draw, because non-verbal expression means a lot to me. Art lets me portray my ideas without speaking a word, and letting my passions speak for themselves. I can tell a story without ever saying a word, and that means a lot to me, as a way to get my ideas across to others.
How has the outbreak affected you as a disabled person and artist?
I don’t typically make money from my digital art, but I have lost my ability to train and perform in aerial arts — something that didn’t pay all my bills, but I got to perform in paid shows and at a convention. Losing access to aerial arts negatively impacts my physical health, mental health, and general way of life. Also, I’m worried about my survivability as a disabled person, and it has severely increased my anxiety and panic when I think about the implications it would have for me as a disabled person, particularly as someone with respiratory and autoimmune problems.
What’s one thing you wish abled people understood about you?
Just because I talk a lot (and am told talk too much) when I am able to, doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with speaking. Forming words in my head is incredibly difficult, and physically saying them can be even harder. When I speak, I struggle to coherently make a single thought, so it often comes out rambly — but this is a result of a TBI and my neurodivergence, not because I just love to hear myself speak or anything.
What’s a song, book or TV show that’s helping you get through this time?
“The Next Right Thing” from Frozen 2. It can get very difficult to think about the big picture, the state of the world, and the state of my life, but it helps to take it one small choice at a time.