Design Spotlight: Cindy Johns
The picture on my card is what you might call a visual metaphor. But it needs a little background information for it to make sense.In 1999, I was treated for cancer with high doses of chemotherapy that left me with extremely debilitating memory-loss problems. I later found out that I was afflicted with a disorder referred to as chemo brain or chemo fog, but it threw me for a loop long before I knew what it was. I used to do Internet programming/consulting and I had created a widely used homeschool forum before the cancer. After the chemo, I became distraught by my forgetfulness and inability to focus. The Internet work overwhelmed me and I burned out and had to give it up.
A few years ago I learned the nature of chemo fog, and at that point it became easier to accept that I’d have to adjust to what I could and couldn’t do. Things that required me to remember stuff or demanded my full attention had to fall by the wayside. I ventured into scrapbooking and card-making–using lots of die-cuts (which I love), and after creating hundreds of homemade cards, I considered selling them online. Then, in April of this year, I discovered GCU and immediately got hooked. One of the biggest perks of that discovery is that I’m learning more than I ever could have imagined about digital art, promotional techniques, inside verses/humor & card categories from fellow artists. Alas, I don’t remember nearly as much of it as I’d like, but it’s still fascinating.
When I was invited to submit a card for this Design Spotlight, I was very, VERY honored. In the process of writing this (and re-writing it), I ended up doing some additional research on chemo fog and learned that A.D.D. medication might help with it (fingers crossed–my doctor just recently gave me a prescription). I hope that by talking about my own experience, I can shine some light on chemo fog and maybe help someone else along the way.
Anyhow—getting to my card. It uses a photo that I took outside of my home not long after being diagnosed with cancer, when I was looking for all the rainbows I could find. This one was a lucky shot that seemed ideal for use on a carpooling card. But since I took it so many years ago with a 1.5Megapixel camera it can’t be enlarged without losing quality and resolution. That’s why it’s such a small picture on the card. But it is my favorite because it’s metaphorical for putting the cancer and chemo fog behind me while looking at what lays ahead—the beauty of art, and putting it on cards. Plus, if I could carpool to work with my fellow GCU artists, I would. 🙂