Painting Series by Jean-Sebastien Choo, Self-taught Autistic Artist #17— Glowing Mind
(Glowing Mind, 12 x 9 in, water color and poster color, canvas panel, SGD140 + shipping)
"What if one day Sebastien woke up, and he were 'normal', what would you think of that?"
Jerome had posed this question, while we were watching a TV series featuring an autistic doctor. For most parents of autistic kids, this is an emotionally-charged question. Perhaps, for some, it is a question with an obvious answer.
But for me, it was, by no means, obvious. For the only Sebastien I have always known has been different from the norm. A "normal" Sebastien would seem like an imposter.
Nonetheless, I made an effort to envision such a possibility. It led me to think about the kind of life a "normal" Sebastien would lead in a mainstream society, in accordance with mainstream norms. It got me thinking about the trajectory of mainstream life — the students I teach, who lead high-stressed school lives to get into top colleges that would lead to them having high-stressed, albeit high-paying, careers, only to start the process all over again for their kids.
This truly made me wonder about the quality of life that we strive so hard for in mainstream society, especially when I juxtapose it with Sebastien's current life. The title for this painting, "Glowing Mind", is, inspired by the reality that we have created for Sebastien. What I dubbed the "Bali Bubble" shielded his heightened being, to some extent, from the pressures of the mainstream world.
In a life that emphasises his overall well-being and exposes him to the peace of nature, Sebastien has thrived to the point of being embraced by my carer's family. They are no specialists with credentials in treating autistic individuals. They are simply members of a family who have come to love Sebastien like one of their own. It is a love that transcends language, cultural, and neurological barriers. This is an extraordinary outcome of how the best of humanity can come through. And it would not have been possible if not for Sebastien's "glowing mind".
For those who are interested to support Sebastien's artistic pursuits:-
Sebastien’s original paintings: https://www.amotherswish.com.sg/shop?Collection=Paintings
Digital versions of Sebastien’s art for Patreon sponsors and epubs with insights about his artistic life: https://www.patreon.com/sebautisticart (you can support his existence for as little as USD5/month!)
Merchandise featuring Sebastien’s art can be found here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/jpoudevigne/explore?page=1&sortOrder=recent, https://www.amotherswish.com.sg/shop?Collection=Accessories
Thank you so much!