Behind the Artists Easel – Jordy Johnson

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[Artist]  Jordy Johnson
[Exhibited]  Piece of Mind 2015

I’m am 41 years old and have survived four neurosurgeries for a subdermal hematoma on the right side of my brain.  I never could draw or paint before my accident, now it has become a big part of my life and the life of my family and friends! I can truthfully say drawing/painting has saved my life.

1)     Aside from painting, do you have any other creative outlets? 

I do have more creative outlets, I have written a book, The Willpower To Live, about my life growing up and my accident.

2)     How has art helped you be resilient to stress and obstacles? 

I can say that art has saved my life. With a brain injury, I get frustrated with simple things that normally people would not get frustrated over. When I am stress out about nothing at all, I just go sit at my art table and draw for hours and hours. This is my stress relief, it lets me focus and think clearly.

3)     What is the inspiration for this piece particularly? 

The piece I had in the show has nine koi fish in it, and I believe this represents good luck in Asia. I love the Asian culture and I am very inspired by it!

4) Has seeing your work displayed at the exhibitions impacted you at all? (How does seeing it displayed make you feel – is there a sense of satisfaction for example?)

Piece of mind has really helped me with my art, it showed me that I should be happy to show my art off and not be embarrassed by thinking it is not good enough.

5) Is there a particular message you want to come across to those who view your pieces?

If someone sees my art and hears my story, I just want them to believe and follow their hearts. Practice using your mind and never give up!

6) How did you get into “Positive Thinking?” 

I got into positive thinking because my neurosurgeon told me to “think positive Jordy, it is most likely the best medicine out there.” Positive thinking has saved my life.
I have been in the worst spirit anyone could imagine, but positive thinking has got me out of it and helped me rebuild my life as a better, stronger person. Keep trying and never give up!
Positive thinking will always help! 🙂


[Interviewer]  Joy Chang is a student at McGill University studying psychology and sociology. Currently, she is interning at The British Columbia Psychological Association and is writing for the Piece of Mind blog. She is interested in how art and psychological health are intertwined.


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