“When I’m in a loud room, the hearing part of my brain is SO big that I hear ALL the noise, like every sound, like a huge scream. The only thing I can’t hear is the footprints of a bug.” -Rylan
During our one semester of homeschooling, 9-year-old Rylan and I were discussing being an entrepreneur. In an effort to understand the amount of work that goes into starting a business, we took a field trip to a local cafe to interview the founder and head baker extraordinaire. Lennon talked to him about her journey and he confidently informed her that he was going to start an art business. She reacted with enthusiasm and offered the use of her cafe to host an art show. When I saw the look on his 10 year old face, I knew this art show was going to be in our future. After much discussion about why a show featuring Pokemon characters wouldn’t be enticing to the general public, we landed on a theme of artwork depicting what it feels like to live in his brain. A complex topic to say the very least. He began creating drawings and descriptions for the many intricacies he lives with. Midway through our prep, I decided it would be interesting to add the parent perspective to the show and put together short pieces from this blog, partnered with photos.
On Friday, July 7th, 2017, we set up the show and welcomed 80+ people into Charm 3 Cafe to tour the Strokes of Genius Art Show. It was unpredictably amazing. Rylan greeted people, Reagan and all our little people guests did art projects outside with an art therapist friend, and guests silently toured, read, and learned more about our little man than they could have expected to. People approached me in tears, explaining how moved they were and how overwhelmed they felt by the honesty in what they saw and read. A man who lives with Tourettes told me the show was like walking back through his childhood and seeing his feelings put into words. His mom silently hugged me and we nodded at each other, no need for words.
This experience was a labor of love for Rylan and me. As I typed out his verbal descriptions for the artwork, I had to stop a number of times and catch my breath. I know this little boy better than anyone on the planet, and I learned morself of valuable and heartbreaking info as we worked together. For him it’s not even a thing. It’s just him being him.
This experience was a labor of love for Rylan and me. As I typed out his verbal descriptions for the artwork, I had to stop a number of times and catch my breath. I know this little boy better than anyone on the planet, and I learned morself of valuable and heartbreaking info as we worked together.
For him it’s not even a thing. It’s just him being him.
We’re so proud of his desire to teach people about the way he toe walks through the world. It’s our hope to continue adding to his show and set it up in places where people can benefit from an insider’s peek into the brain of a kiddo living with Tourette Syndrome and Autism. It’s quite a peek if I do say so myself.
If you would like to feature Rylan’s art show at a conference, school, gallery, library, community center, church….we would love any and all of it. Contact me to discuss how we can work together.