Susan Brandner has deep love for making art and reports that she would make art all day, every day if she had the opportunity! Susan lives with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. She is currently experiencing homelessness and engages regularly in open art studio groups and individual art therapy sessions. In relation to her current life experience, Susan describes that “life can be very hard, being hungry, sick, cold and have chronic pain, when I come to make art, I am able to forget about all of that. I can just focus on the art, something that makes me happy. It is a place where I can let everything else go and feel safe and relaxed.”
Susan describes the times when she has access to art materials and a safe, comforting art space as the highlight of her week. She enjoys engaging in certain art processes that are relaxing to her such as making lines with a certain arm movement, filling a canvas with dots and splashes, or wrapping her canvases in yarn, and she also enjoys making all of her art sparkle with beauty. “It is calming to me,” she says “I do not have to worry about anything being perfect, I can just create and enjoy and I think my paintings turn out really good! This process helps me trust myself more and see what I am capable of creating. I feel really good when other people like my work, when they can connect with the emotions in them.” She also values spending time with her son, who she often makes art with, which allows her a comfortable and enjoyable space to spend quality time connecting with her son around a shared love of art.
As a result of her experiences with homelessness, Susan has become an advocate to spread awareness about unaffordable housing in Chicago and the struggles of the homeless population. It is important to her in being part of ArtLifting that people begin to see the humanity behind people who experience homelessness and mental illness and she hopes to continue to spread awareness as well as happiness and joy (and glitter!) through sharing her art with the world.read more
Prints by Susan Brandner
Originals by Susan Brandner
Posters by Susan Brandner
ArtLifting's empowers homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.