The INvisible Beauty In Pain campaign’s sixth artist spotlight is Amber Dawn Knox
Amber Dawn lives in Rochester, NY and the INvisible Beauty in Pain Gallery is her first time painting in many years as well as contributing a piece to a public art gallery.
Check out Amber’s interview below:
When did you begin your career as an artist and what inspired you to pursue art?
(ADK) My grandfather was very encouraging and inspiring. He drew, painted, took me to the MAG, and got me into classes there.
Do you have a chronic invisible illness?
(ADK) Yes. Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, Spina Bifida, and Carpal Tunnel
When were you diagnosed?
(ADK) Scoliosis since I was a child. Fibromyalgia in 2000. Carpal Tunnel in 2006. Spina Bifida in 2012 after x-rays.
What lead up to your diagnosis (symptoms, dr visits, etc) and how did you find comfort through art, painting, singing, writing or being creative?
(ADK) Drawing and poetry got me through a lot, recently has been a struggle to remember to create. The piece I made for this show happened because I felt I needed to let people know how I feel lately, like I’ve been replaced, and isolated. I want to remember to create more.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your career as an artist?
(ADK) That it hasn’t been prevalent enough, that I don’t feel well, or good enough.
How does chronic illness impact your process as an artist?
(ADK) It has stalled it. It’s frustrating. I’ve been horrendous at self motivating.
What (if anything) have you found/ done that has improved your symptoms?
(ADK) Acupuncture, Sensory Deprivation, Massage, Physical Therapy/Aquatherapy
How open are you with friends & family about your illness & symptoms?
(ADK) Extremely open.
What was the worst advice that you followed?
(ADK) I can’t recall anything right now…
Outside of art, What is your favorite way to cope with your life as a spoonie?
(ADK) Surrounding myself with love of family, friends, and support from fellow Spoonies
What is it that inspires you to keep going, despite your illness?
(ADK) My tiny family unit.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself since your diagnosis?
(ADK) I cannot hold up the entire world, I need to focus on myself.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to someone newly diagnosed with an invisible illness?
(ADK) TALK TO PEOPLE. Express your feelings, frustrations, hopes to people who love you, ask them to HEAR you. Get a therapist so that you can vent willy nilly and not feel like you are overburdening a few people. Access online support groups too. Ranting amongst like minded people is therapeutic in itself.
Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
(ADK) I am so pleased to have found the motivation to create something for this show, and a cause so intimate to me.
For the rest of KNOWvember, we will feature the biographies and the meaning behind the works of art created by and donated to the INvisible Beauty in Pain Gallery by each of the thirteen artists that submitted work for this campaign.
All works are available to be seen in person at 540WMain and are a celebration of The U.S Pain Foundation’s KNOWvember campaign which you can learn more about by clicking here.