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Nerve Pain as Art (thoughts?)

Mar 17, 2016 3:29 PM

I've had an idea in my head for awhile now, but wanted to know what you guys thought about it. I have a lot of specifically nerve pain, and I can feel exactly where certain noisy points connect (like neck and small toe...kinda weird) but after doing a photo essay about chronic pain (got more understanding from others than just trying to explain in words) I want to do a photo series about what pain would look like if you could see it. I was thinking of getting one of the makeup artists at my school to help me, and then having other spoonies send in pics, or just a short description of where YOU FEEL your pain. Like for me, my wrists and hands have many pains that line up with my veins, and when the veins pop up, I usually have a flare. I'd want to show with one color where the normal nerves/veins are with a soft color, and where I feel it with a deeper color (probably red or orange because of the burning)

Basically, is be taking photos of people with the pain on them, and I'm still figuring out what kind of design is want to express it. I've considered mostly swirls and flame designs so far. I'm also trying to find natural inks, so I could experiment on my own first.

I drew a version using a tracing of my hand, and I wish I could post it here. Anyway, do you guys have any opinions on what colors should be used (like the ribbons for diagnosis, etc) and ideas on how to make the pics more powerful, and spread awareness. I've looked online for a similar concept, but so far the only thing I've found is the writing your diagnosis on your body (cool start, but if you don't know about diagnoses it might mean very little). If you guys have seen photos like this already, send me a link.


Mar 17, 2016 3:48 PM

I think you are right about red being pain. Things turn red when inflamed, blood cells surround them. It makes sense. I was thinking, I wasn't sure if you were going to use this but with crps, doesn't the cold hurt too. I was thinking you could use some blue for surrounding tissue. Just an idea.

Mar 17, 2016 5:01 PM

This is an AMAZING idea. A while back I did something very similar. I was in a lot of creative classes while in school and for midterms for my drawing/painting class, photography class, and sculpting class we had to do basically the same project, make something that means something to you. So for painting class I painted a abstract explosion like thing that represtented my pain and a giant canvas, for my photography class I went into the woods by my house and took pictures of trees from strange angles that looked like something that remind me of my pain (i for a C- btw because my teacher said that "pain shouldn't be something important to you, I was pissed) and for my sculpting class I made a clay leg and carved and painted what my pain feels like.
You did give me an idea with doing a makeup one though, as I love to do makeup. I hope this project works out well for you and good luck. :) <3 also of you ever want opinions on anything just ask me and you can email or text me photos. I love to look at other peoples art. And of love to see the finishing of this project.

Mar 17, 2016 5:32 PM

I love this idea, Ferrertbandit. I always picture little gremlins inside my body like tiny lumberjacks. Some are sawing st muscles and tendons, some are hammering wedges into bones, some are climbing bones or tendons with those spiked shoes they wear.

But, for your idea, how about swirls of yellowish red stars for the sharp stabbing kind of pain, or dark tears, like it's ripping through the normal colours, of midnight blue? Or waves of silvery blue for that pain that washes over you?

Mar 18, 2016 3:40 PM

I'm experimenting with red right now, but one version just went up looking like blood in a cartoon, oops. Still figuring that one out...Yeah, I also thought blue could be an option for cold-numb pain, and also trying something like purple for fibro/lupus/the other chronic illnesses it represents. I like the idea of blue being an outline for surrounding tissue, will definitely try that.

Jenna, I've had the same art class "make something that's important to you," sucks that your teacher decided your truth needs to be censored. I had a photography, theater, and writing class. On the first week of theater, we were supposed to bring in "something sacred" and I brought my hands, which were getting weaker because of CRPS, and I had to not use one at all. I'm just glad that I want the only one crying during our presentations.
In writing, I keep making new stories, or trying to explain my experience. I get really trapped in my head though, because I remember how it felt, not what it looked like. Photography was the hardest, because I knew most people wouldn't understand, and my teacher was super anti-drugs. I even included a picture of my hands filled with pills in a heart shape (one person walked out after that). Can you message me your email? I think I have the wrong one...

Mar 18, 2016 3:46 PM

Thanks for the gremlin picture, that feels very true. I think the stars would be cool, but tears is also a really awesome idea! I wouldn't have thought of it, so thanks. Waves...I'm not sure how it would work, but it would be cool if the waves turned into tears or the tears gathered into waves.

Thanks for the suggestions and feedback, I have a lot of things to try, now.

Mar 19, 2016 12:39 PM

Ferretbandit you are an amazingly talented, imaginative and thought provoking young lady!! You got many good ideas here along with ones you already had.. I wish that we could see what you're doing here as well but I can sure picture it!! {{{{Hugs}}}} 💕🙏🏻🌻😊

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