Hello, my name is Alexandra Baker and I’m a “lovely, left-handed, unemployed lady”, as most of my medical reports state. You know how people joke about how their lives appear a lot more interesting online? Well, thats undeniably true in my case.
When words fail me, art usually does the trick. When the brain fog makes me physically incapable of expressing how I feel, art can express it for me. When people don’t understand or even don’t believe it, art can show them the truth and teach them. It’s a strange existence being a creative, introverted, twenty-something with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or M.E). My plans of becoming the next big thing in the world of Graphic Design hit a major roadblock thanks to this debilitating and complex condition. Since then I’ve been trying to find ways of coping and surviving each day as best I can while still holding onto my passion for creativity. That's why @yourachingart_cfs was born. A small corner of the internet where I could keep on creating while simultaneously raising awareness for M.E and chronic illness.
My artwork normally consists of attacking M.E with relatable, light-hearted and fun content. I often try and turn this very negative experience into a more positive one, resulting in some quirky illustrations and some amused viewers. I’ve said to myself on many occasions that if I can make just one person smile, especially someone who is currently going through an illness of there own, then that's a job well done. Using humour to defuse a negative situation is something I am very guilty of and it’s worked pretty well so far. Approaching M.E with the same sassy attitude has helped me to cope. Making artwork is my way of processing and coming to terms with something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It keeps my mind active and distracted and fills in the void where I feel I’m unable to participate in ‘real life’. It gives me a taste of being productive in this deeply upsetting situation where any activity, no matter how small, is it’s own mountain to climb.
Discovering the ‘chronic illness’ and ‘M.E’ community on Instagram was the best thing I ever did. I found so many like-minded people who help and support each other. Although many of us are confined to our houses or even beds, through the power of the internet we can all connect and share our experiences and feel less alone. I hope that sharing my own journey and art will help to bring much-needed awareness. I aim to give people just a spoonful of comfort in knowing that it’s ok to be a lovely, left-handed, unemployed, introverted, creative, sassy, twenty-something woman who is also an emotional and physical wreck with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and has a much more interesting life online’. Or is that too specific?
Big thank you to Naomi for inviting me to guest blog.
Hugs and spoons x
P.S. Alex's website can be found at www.yourachingartcfs.moonfruit.com and you can find her on Instagram at @yourachingart_cfs