"Be creative in whatever way possible", encourages Dave Stevens, artist and retired secondary school teacher.
Dave was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's this past May, discovering Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) soon after his diagnosis. While still uncertain how Parkinson's will affect his daily life and his art, PSBC has helped Dave get connected and stay positive.
Dave enjoys many kinds of art, including drawing, painting, sculpting, and cartooning. His work is inspired by nature and his faith, while drawing on the styles of visual artists like Alex Colville, Antonio Frasconi, and Antony Gormley. He has also worked on several children's alphabet books based on BC creatures with his wife, Diane.
Dave spent 30 years teaching art to secondary school students, winning the British Columbia Art Teacher of the Year award in 2000. He has also worked with the BC Psychologist Association to promote art as a therapeutic tool, believing strongly that the creative process can foster self-expression and purpose while inspiring others.
Recently, Dave has been working on a piece (pictured below) to donate to the The Gesundheit Institute, a non-profit healthcare organization founded by Dr. Patch Adams, dedicated to holistic medical care and the integration of creativity in the healing process.
Though he is an established artist, Dave has encountered feelings of doubt and inadequacy over the years. He understands the struggle of feeling like you are not good enough — of carrying samples in your mind of what 'real' art is and feeling as though you can never achieve that. Despite these doubts, he feels that people's unique nature should be celebrated and reflected through art. "We can all create and enjoy the process wherever we start", Dave says. He tries to remind himself and those around him that mistakes are okay, and perfection is an illusion — an outlook which he applies to his journey with Parkinson's as well.
Dave's wife and family have helped him feel understood and supported during this difficult time, encouraging him to be open to change and new ways of creating his pieces. He draws on the courage of those that have gone before him in the Parkinson's community, and intends to continue using art to find joy and express his authentic experience.