Colorful Realities by Levi A. Lancaster

Levi Lancaster, Born in the United States of America. At the age of 28, my mother was diagnosed with Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia. At that point, I was 13 years old, dealing with my mother's mental condition, and my sexuality as a gay male adolescent. Seven years with extended psychiatric stays, a plethora of medical visits, enormous amounts of medications, and a hollow feeling that no one wishes to experience came to pass but I knew there was no cure for this condition, so I've fought it with love and will continue to do so in my daily life, expressing myself via my art. In reality, the emotional suffering we were experiencing had a profound impact on us and transformed both worlds throughout a single night, leaving long-lasting, colorful ripples. It took some time getting to where we are now, which is "not calm and certainly not carefree, but a better place overall; always looking over my shoulder."

I finished school two years ahead of schedule to care for my ailing mother. I worked my way up to a mid-level executive position (with a restaurant chain), where I began my 25-year career in leadership roles in numerous industries. I frequently marvel at how I completed all of the above while simultaneously graduating with a 4.0 GPA from my Hospitality Management program. I suppose you get it done when you live with these concerns at such a young and impressionable age and then discover you're on your own. That was, at the very least, my decision. Because they were all coping with and attempting to comprehend the workings of this dreadful sickness, I had no family help or proper support. Years later, I went to school and graduated with the same GPA in Interior Design. Even when confronted with adversity, it's difficult to envision what a person is genuinely capable of doing.

Due to the strains of caring for my single (mentally disabled) mother daily, household necessities, accepting my sexuality, and work-related anxieties, I ended up in the hospital myself. My first experience with caretaker burnout occurred at a critical point in my life. My paintings incorporate both controllable and uncontrollable abstraction processes, which is precisely what this sickness has taught me. While creating artwork and putting one's thoughts on paper is a planned and organized procedure, not everyone needs to be an artist to benefit from art therapy. Paints, brushwork, palm paint, wild erratic strokes, paint explosions, or quiet, calm imagery can all aid the recovery process. Art helps you grow as a person on many levels, and it keeps you grounded and in touch with your inner self in a crazy world.

Art has evolved into a sort of meditation that teaches patience. Whether we enter the art world or allow art to join ours, it is up to us.

"Art is too vital not to share," says pop artist Romero Britto. Presenting your work to new and seasoned audiences has always been - and will always be - a crucial component of being an artist, whether you're displaying your work on the walls of a gallery or sharing your oeuvre online. My website with art

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