Do Or Die Artwork

 

Amy Oestreicher

Floating Roots


At the height of my very promising musical theatre accomplishments, at 18 I suffered an unimaginable trauma, which resulted in months of coma, 30 surgeries, and nearly seven years unable to eat or drink. To cope, I discovered many creative pathways, including creating visual art, composing music and even cooking, connecting me to life and giving voice to the darkest period I could ever imagine. In the 10 years following this trauma, I gave voice to my trauma in a prolific period of creating. I showed my visual art in solo exhibitions, I wrote and performed nationwide two one-woman musicals about my story, even integrating my visual art on the stage, I gave three TEDx Talks on transforming trauma through creativity and even published a memoir of my journey. And I earned my college degree that had been interrupted by my trauma. Art made feeling possible again, helping me live a fuller life as an artist and human. My second crisis was a creative one. What happens when you’re done giving voice to past traumas? Creativity had always been a way to free myself, and barely 30, I felt like creativity was only going one way, sinking me further into my story. I felt drained as I tried to move on and create a new narrative for myself. The answer came by using my artist soul to find my inner fire. My detours inspired creative new directions, and now I wanted to give back. I founded LoveMyDetour, an initiative that allows others to embrace and voice their trauma through expressive arts. I pursued transformative justice, disability advocacy, and put creative energy in the LOVE of LoveMyDetour. Rather than create based on where my path has taken me, I chose to use my love of creativity to help others find their voices. I am still creating through the arts, including a new play, FIBERS based on my grandmother's story as a Holocaust survivor and I am pursuing an MFA. But my focus on LoveMyDetour allows me to use creativity to connect all of us with each other, earth, and ourselves and this has refreshed and reframed my perspective on my own creative work.

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18”x12”x0.1”

Mixed media on Canvas

$200