Jordy Johnson's artistic side has been awakened.
The 39-year-old from Ladner, who has his work hanging at a local business, began drawing after suffering a serious head injury when he fell off a roof onto concrete in early 2011.
He went through a tough recovery, undergoing three craniotomy surgeries and having to fight through a staph infection.
Johnson, who took up drawing as a way to express himself, says when he draws he doesn't feel as if he has a brain injury. Now an array of his Asian-inspired art is on display at Mark's Tanning and Hair Design in Ladner.
Johnson, who runs a roofing company with a partner, is also an author. He released his self-published The Willpower to Live, a book about life, death, true friends and family love, last year.
Johnson's artwork can be viewed at Mark's Tanning and Hair Design in Ladner Centre.
Q: How did you get started doing artwork?
About a year-and-a-half ago I just picked up a pencil and started drawing. I couldn't believe what I did and I just kept continuing to do it. I could never draw before my brain injury. My neurosurgeon ... asked me if there's any new talent I've been able to learn how to do. I said it's funny you say that, because look at these pictures I've been able to draw. He said it's a proven fact that something in my brain has been turned on. I damaged the right side of my brain and the left side is compensating for it. That's my artistic side.
Q: What do you enjoy about creating artwork?
What I like best about drawing is when I draw, I don't realize I have a brain injury. Like talking to you right now I feel like I have a brain injury, all the time. The only time I don't feel like I have a brain injury is when I'm drawing. I get lost in the drawing.
Q: How do you go about creating your work?
Just my imagination. There's a lot of Asian tattoo stuff. I love tattoos, but both my grandfathers loved Asian stuff. There's lots of Asian artifacts in their houses. I guess it's just an influence. But lots of my buddies say there's lots of West Coast in it too.
Q: Your book came out last year. What kind of feedback have you been getting about it?
Positive, 100 per cent positive. Some people who've had bad injuries have read my book and it's been an inspiration for them. That's what I meant it to be. I didn't really plan to make any money on it. Same thing with my art, I don't plan on making any money on it. It's just something I enjoy doing.
Q: Your accident happened in January, 2011. How are you feeling these days?
Every day is like I'm living in a concussion ... every day I know I have a brain injury. I feel it every word I say. But I'm still alive and here so I'm not really complaining about it.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone going through their own recovery from a serious injury?
Try and find what makes you happy, what makes you want to be yourself. Just try and find the gift inside you that makes something inspirational for you. That's what the drawing does for me. [It's] inspirational.
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