We asked Jessica Chanel who’s interview will be released this Saturday a little bit about herself. I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m a self-taught mixed media artist. My art journey started as a teen, when I was thrust into the chaotic journey of chronic illness. Art became my “peace” amongst the chaos while dealing with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID). Eosinophilic gastroenteritis is a rare, painful, incurable, and unpredictable illness of the stomach and intestine. My last two years of high school were filled with chronic pain, cyclical vomiting, doctor’s appointments, medical procedures and surgeries. I missed an entire year of high school, as doctors tried to diagnose my condition. I re-enrolled to high school and I was able to graduate with academic honors, and math and science scholarships. I earned my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology, from (UAB). Throughout college I still battled eosinophilia, which caused me to miss a year of college classes as well. I took two studio drawing courses in hopes of learning about drawing techniques and gaining a bit of peace during college. I managed to graduate with honors and served in many organizations. Life’s chaos has taught me not to limit myself, especially with my art. So, I draw portraits, create functional and upcycled book art, and mixed media abstract paintings, among other things. My goal as an artist is to help teens and young adults deal with chronic pain and use the therapeutic platform of art therapy. I plan to start an art therapy program specific to teens and young adults dealing with chronic illnesses, that will give them a place of peace and hope.