Narcolepsy Nerd Alert: Narcolepsy and Art

What’s your creative outlet? In this Narcolepsy Nerd Alert broadcast, artists shared their work and discussed the relationship between their creative expression and their narcolepsy journeys.

Narcolepsy + Art Toolkit:

Narcolepsy Nerd Alert toolkits accompany each broadcast. The toolkits are designed for people living with narcolepsy and their loved ones to offer new tools, tips, and perspectives on navigating narcolepsy.

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Headshots of broadcast episode guests.

Featured Artists:

Ulrike Nordquist is a mother of two, photographer, painter, and Rising Voices speaker living in Sweden. She developed type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy at the age of 38 after receiving the Pandemrix H1N1 vaccine. During the years coping with her new situation, she made her passion for painting and photography into a business that fit her schedule. Ulrike conceptualizes her way of thinking: “I use self-luminous colors to lighten up dark parts in my paintings!”

Silence Hands is a mother of two and a multidisciplinary artist from Tennessee. She was diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy at age 35 and wishes to motivate others to listen closely to what their bodies are telling them. As a speaker with Project Sleep’s Rising Voices program, Silence shares her experiences with others to improve awareness of narcolepsy and hopes to undo misconceptions of this neurological condition.

Shu Horiike is a freelance designer, web engineer, and digital art director living in Japan. His artwork expresses the specific feelings of narcolepsy and hypersomnia, with the fear of memories being sliced out, anxiety of shaking vision, distorted sounds, and feeling uncomfortable under the gaze of others. Shu is a member of  the Japan Narcolepsy Association, and hopes to use his art to raise awareness of narcolepsy in Japan.

Jonathan Correa is a photography hobbyist and outdoor enthusiast. He was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2014, more than 10 years after initial symptoms. Jonathan is a lifelong resident of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Dana Harel lives in Israel with her husband and two children. She is a developmental psychologist and an artist. She was diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy at age 34, after living with symptoms since she was 18. Her artwork primarily involves paper craft, scrapbooking and mixed media. 

Jayden Rowland is an art major at Oklahoma Community College. They were diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy at age 15 and have been raising awareness ever since. As an artist and speaker with Project Sleep’s Rising Voices program, Jayden conveys the struggles of not being taken seriously, achieving a diagnosis, and their ongoing battle with depression and self-acceptance.

Project Sleep’s live broadcast series Narcolepsy Nerd Alert takes a deeper dive into specific topics related to narcolepsy. Hosted by award-winning nerd Julie Flygare, each live event invites fellow #NarcolepsyNerds to explore unique aspects of the narcolepsy experience, contemplate bold questions, and learn from each other.

Tune in to Narcolepsy Nerd Alert live events on Project Sleep’s Facebook page. Catch up on past broadcasts, listen to podcast episodes, download accompanying toolkits, and see the schedule of upcoming topics on our Narcolepsy Nerd Alert page.

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