Valkyrie Johnson works full-time managing the website at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Through her interactions with patients, coworkers, and her own health issues, she has become intimately acquainted with chronic pain and the effect it can have on all aspects of a person’s life. In January 2015, Valkyrie made a commitment to draw, paint, or create something every day and it has become one of the routines that keeps her going when she has a bad pain day.
Since beginning her daily commitment to art, Valkyrie has spent over 3,000 hours developing her talents in a wide range of media, including watercolor, markers, colored pencils, paper collage, needle felting, and digital art. This has recently resulted in her first art show, a studio sale with several other local artists, two paintings that were selected to be in juried art shows, and the opportunity to illustrate a children’s book.
Pain is part of the human experience and, often, we don’t have the option to stop just because we are hurting. Instead, we cling to our routines to help us manage the pain and continue on with our lives. And so, putting on make-up in the morning becomes more than just covering up blemishes; it is masking the ever-present dark circles and lines of tension tightening your skin. Putting on a favorite necklace pulls together an outfit into armor, hiding the cracks as you go into another work meeting or just stop by the grocery store. A habit of daily creativity provides an outlet