Today we’d like to introduce you to Wyanne Thompson.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My name is Wyanne (pronounced Y-anne). I have been a full-time artist for the past 20 years. My work is in collections all over the world. In late 2013 I was diagnosed with Stage IV oral cancer. I had never smoked, used tobacco or had HPV. I was relatively healthy. I lost my entire tongue and 66 lymph nodes. Most people are unaware of head and neck cancers and their severity. It was almost a yearlong recovery. I had to learn how to speak without a tongue. I still take all of my food and drink through a stomach feeding tube. But thanks to the incredible team at Emory University Hospital, I’m still cancer free. I consider the cancer a gift. It pushed me to find the courage to follow my artistic dreams in a bigger way and to enjoy every minute that I’ve been given.
Please tell us about your art.
Before cancer, I created relatively small illustrative works. I always wanted to paint large canvas but was never brave enough to take the chance. While undergoing chemo and radiation treatment, I created watercolor abstract paintings to pass the time. Although small, and sometimes crude from the severity of treatment, they kept me going. I dreamed of one day painting them large. I believe cancer woke me up to get off auto pilot. Two years later I was able to bring my dream to reality. My paintings symbolize the energy and beauty of life, when we pause for a minute and take it in. I hope they give the viewer happiness, hope and strength.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I believe to be successful as an artist one must be true to yourself and brave to take chances. I played it safe as an artist for many years before cancer. And although most would define my pre-cancer artistic career as successful, I was too scared to create the large-scale paintings I had always dreamed about. Cancer was brutal and almost took my life. It knocked me down so many times and I had no choice but to get back up or let it overcome me. Being an artist is very much the same. You are going to get knocked down. It’s going to be hard. But, you stay true to yourself and keep going. Know there is a reason you are here, and you have a gift to give the world.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
In Atlanta, people can see my work at dk Contemporary Art Gallery in Marietta. I am also on Instagram and Facebook, and post regularly. I also offer art workshops online and in person at my Avondale Estates studio.
- Address: 2846 Franklin St. Studio D
Avondale Estates, GA 30002
By appointment only
- Website: wyanne.com
- Email: http://www.wyanne.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wyanne
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/WyanneArt
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/wyanne