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Soup for the A.D.H.D Artist's Palette

A Maze I drew in the 6th Grade

Did somebody say soup? I'm at the art store picking out a better paint brush, because I forgot to clean mine off for the 5th time this week, but soup sure does sound like a good idea. I'll make some for dinner. But first, I'll need to compare these 10 different brushes and change my mind a few more times. Meanwhile, at the grocery store, I seem to have underestimated the size of vegetables. As I'm fumbling through the isles because I didn't think I needed a basket, finally make it to checkout when I realize I don't have any noodles. But oh well, I can make something else instead.

2 hours later, dinner is ready. The experimental vegan meatloaf came out pretty good this time. So glad I have dinner ready by 11 a.m. One less thing I have to worry about later. But I think it's time to get to work on a new painting. It's crazy how there just isn't ever enough time in a day, and I swear the older you get the quicker the days go.

So I've been meaning to create something challenging for awhile, something painted with good oils that I can really spend a lot of time on and perfect. Quality over quantity, as the saying goes, and I'm super excited to get to work! It's all I can think about. But shit --- forgot to prime the canvas. Again. That's ok, I'll just use acrylic instead and I bet it'll be even better. I also forgot to charge my cellphone last night, so if I want to use it for reference I'll just have to do what I did last time and plug my phone into my laptop, and then plug my laptop into the kitchen outlet. Hopefully the kids don't trip on it. My screen is already cracked from top to bottom...2 hours later, I am sitting in front of a blank canvas writing a blog about ADHD.

As I sit here telling you a very realistic story of my everyday life, battery at 4% on my laptop, 25 tabs open for different business ideas, DIY projects and an explanation on why you can't ride a Zebra, I realize how ridiculous it must seem to the people around me everyday. Instead of getting frustrated with my short attention span, forgetfulness, inability to walk through a doorway like a normal person and unwavering awkwardness, I try to use these traits to my advantage. Because even though I find it nearly impossible to complete mundane tasks, and lose my keys every single time I have to leave the house, these are all quirks that I'm actually really thankful for. It really allows me to think outside the box with techniques and ideas. And not even just behind a canvas, but during every day life. Multi-tasking is something I've never struggled with, and even though I'm always looking for something new and exciting to do, it's literally impossible to ever run out of things to do.

Growing up, we had this quirky man that lived a few houses down from us. He always had all of this stuff laying around his yard, like broken pots, half built bikes and statues of garden animals with broken limbs and missing heads. We weren't allowed to trick-or-treat at his house or talk to him because, according to everyone on our block, he was strange...he artist. It's funny really, thinking back at how we all looked at him like he was an alien from another planet. We heard stories about how he had an "artist temperament". Later I learned that he had some mental struggles, one of which was ADHD. Looking back on it now, we probably would've gotten along pretty well. And if I could paint you a picture of what the inside of my brain looks like, it would probably look an awful lot like that quirky man's front yard.

If anyone out there is reading this having an 'aha' relatable moment, the best advice I can give is that it's important to do your own thing. You don't have to have consistency or try fitting into a mold because that's what everyone says is normal. All you have to do is find what works for you and stick to that...even if sticking to that means not sticking to anything. And if you need further reassurance than my (often bad) advice, just take a look at this list of totally amazing people who struggled with attention deficit, too!

1. Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist

2. Will Smith, Actor/Producer

3. Michael Jordon, Basketball Player

4. Walt Disney, the inspiration behind Disneyland

5. Edgar Allen Poe, Author

6. Emily Dickinson, Author

7. Michael Phelps, Athlete

8. Richard Branson, Business Investor

9. Justin Timberlake, Musician/Actor


10. Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh & Auguste Robin (to name a few) were also thought to have ADHD.

*Bonus paragraph* (Because I know you were wondering)

Renowned zoologist, Walter Rothschild driving a zebra-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace “WalterRothschildWithZebras” by unknown – The Picture Magazine (publ.: George Newnes). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

The short version answer for dummies is this: Zebra's are apparently really *really* mean. The scientific answer goes something like, Zebras have a lot of natural predators so they evolved into easily panicked and aggressive animals that were made to survive in a hostile African environment. Also, bananas can't reproduce.


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