Donna Williams’ Blog

Ever the arty Autie

ARTISM – an interview with art student Tilly Snaith

January24

This Much by Donna Williams Hello Donna,
My name is Tilly and I’m an A-level art student from a UK secondary school called Ruislip High.
While searching through the Internet for inspiration, I came across your website and was completely inspired. Your success and clear passion for art moved me, and I find your art work to be as impressive as your story.

As part of my A-level course it is part of the criteria to do a personal investigation on any part of art you like: it can be on a particular art movement, organisation or artist. (Anything that you find interesting or are passionate about). After reading through your website, I then went on to look at other autistic artist and found some equally as impressive, but none that moved me as much as yours. (I think it was your openness about art, I felt a sense of freedom and I love the fact that you haven’t let anything hold you back. Not only do you produce breathtaking art, but from viewing your website I can see you help others overcome their own obstacles). So i have decided to do my investigation around you and a couple of others artist. (I hope you don’t mind)

I was just wondering (hoping) if i could ask you a few question (via email), to get a better understanding behind some of your work and that I can include in my project, for example where do you find inspiration? what art means to you? how art has helped you? How you came about to discover ‘ARTism‘? I have many more questions that go into greater depth.

I would love to hear from you soon! and would appreciate any help you can offer me, but understand that you must have a busy schedule! So if I don’t hear from you, your an inspiration and a role model to many young people with or without disabilities. ( I have already made my art class fans :D :D)

Thank you again
your newly found fan from the UK,
Tilly Snaith!

TILLY SNAITH:
1.What does ‘ARTism’ mean to you?

DONNA WILLIAMS
Artism is a way of perceiving, experiencing the world… to me it is about failing to see the world with meaning,… having to strive to put some meaning to it… but because of that seeing things in their pure state… colors, patterns, textures, movement… Artism is also about being compelled to create, about creativity as one’s primary language, about arts being sacred and an integral part of one’s own world.

TILLY SNAITH:
Would you class it as a separate art movement such as cubism?

DONNA WILLIAMS
Interesting thought. I think many artists with autism fit ‘artism’… so you could say that some artists with autism have been part of a movement of artism.

TILLY SNAITH:
2.In what way has Art impacted your life?

DONNA WILLIAMS
I lived it, saw it, interacted with it, felt it long before I produced art works. It felt highly personal, primal, sensory, so it took a long time to dare interact directly with others through art, it was more a place of self dialogue, but in time I have come to share it.

TILLY SNAITH:
3.Has any particular artist inspired/influenced you? If so, in what way?

DONNA WILLIAMS
no, because I’m merely painting pure concepts, feelings, the physical expression of those concepts through my figures, the atmospheres of feelings, concepts, relationships expressed through my colors, movement, textures.

TILLY SNAITH:
4.Where do you find your inspiration for your work?

DONNA WILLIAMS
probably being faceblind, growing up unable to visually perceive anything as a whole (Simultagnosia), growing up meaning deaf, growing up with Exposure Anxiety, being autistic, being multiple, love of and connection with nature, thinking in movement, in colors, textures… these are things that inspire my work.

TILLY SNAITH:
5.What media do you enjoy working with the most? Why?

DONNA WILLIAMS
acrylics, because they barely smell, wash up well, are versatile, are vibrant, last well, and can be used in a lot of textural ways. I also like to paint on wallpaper. I like to start with competing with, working with the backgrounds.

TILLY SNAITH:
6.Would you consider yourself an impulse artist, or do you carefully plan every detail and preparation before you begin an art piece?

DONNA WILLIAMS
definitely impulse! But I’d say intuitive, empathic, sensing, working from emotional intelligence, from Tao… as opposed to cerebral, intellectual… ‘anal’ ;-)

TILLY SNAITH:
7.Already a successful author, artist, screenwriter and public speaker what does the future hold for Donna Williams?

DONNA WILLIAMS
ah, unfortunately it probably holds progressive disability and death, because I have primary immune deficiencies, Vascular Ehlers-Danlos and associated degenerative Spinal Stenosis, Dysautonomia and Central Apnea and I just came through Breast Cancer and chemo in 2011 so hoping that keeps at bay too… so my creativity extends now to trying to make it to 55, even 60 with conditions that kill most by the age of 40-50. That doesn’t sound very exciting, but its actually part of the journey of life, part of being a sculptor and sculpting out one’s life, one’s future.

I’m also hoping to get back to more poetry performance, some music performance with fellow Aspinaut, Anthony Julian, and having a gallery space before I’m gone.

Warmly,

Donna Williams
http://www.donnawilliams.net