How art has saved my life

Jordy Johnson

I was raised and still live in a little farming\fishing town called Ladner, this is in the district of delta (South), Ladner is about a 15 minute drive to get into Vancouver city, I do have to say it is a peaceful little town “MOST TIMES” LOL, me and my friends growing up in our little town have sure made it not quite peaceful at the best of times, lol.

my mother and father divorced when me and my sister were still very young, they had bought a house on Vancouver island, Courtney is where we lived, when they divorced my mother moved to Ladner where her parents lived because she would be able to get good support and help from them, my father moved back into Vancouver (East) .

during the weekdays I would be in Ladner with my mom and my sister, the weekends I would go into Vancouver to spend  time with my father.

it’s a shame it never worked out between them, but I have to say I’m truthfully very lucky I had 2 very loving parents,

They were both very loving and giving in there own way,

I never really had a simple life growing up, like there was never a fine medium with me, I had the world’s worst temper and I do remember my nickname in preschool was  SPAZZZZ,YUP!! people would call me that and I would spaz out even more,

I ended up quitting school in grade 10, it wasn’t working for me and I hatted being there, so I quit and got a full time job roofing, my starting wage was $3.25 a hour YUP, and I worked my ass of for every penny of it!

as time went on I quit roofing and got other jobs, but it always seemed once I got tired of the  “OTHER JOBS” I would always find a way back into the roofing world.

I got older and wiser I started a roofing company in 2006, I called it TOP DAWG ROOFING, The company was doing great over the years,  A few of my best friends that also knew how to roof joined the top dawg crew, We were all doing great,

I believe the date was 2008 when my mother passed away from cancer, this struck me very hard, I WAS YOUR TYPICAL MOMMYS BOY, she was 30 years ree married to my step father, he brought along with him two of the best step brothers anyone could ask for, My step father made sure she died at home and not the hospital, he was her everything, A VERY LOYAL MAN!



In late 2010 I had a very serious roofing accident, it was a cloudy Sunday, I was helping out a buddy move a vent over on his roof, I also brought another buddy with me to help do some sheet metal work in the attic as he had experience in this from his past years,


I fell off the roof 14 feet, no one seen me fall, no one seen me sleeping on the cement, I still don’t know how long I was passed out 4 but I’m sure it was at least 10 minutes, I awoke and nothing seemed right, everything was blurry, I was soooo cold,,, sooooo thirsty, something told me I had to get up from the cement and get to my friends to door to let them know something was wrong, I DID IT, I got up and walked about 40 feet to my friends door, I knocked, they seen me, they called 911, a ambulance came, took me to a park, cleared the park fro all people on the loud speaker so the medic helicopter could come get me to the hospital much faster,

I had to have emergency craniotomy surgery, I had a compressed skull and a subdural hematoma , ( My skull was collapsed in and my whole brain was bleeding) this is from when my head hit the cement I guess, I also had 14 breaks on 4 ribs, a punctured lung, separated shoulder, and last but not the least a ruptured ear drum, I do believe the ruptured ear drum saved my life as it let all the blood from my brain drain out and not compress against my brain,  (this is a well known case of death)FB_IMG_1449667724423

I remember waking up the next morning in the hospital wondering what the hell happened this time and why the hell was I in the hospital, some close friends and fam were beside me when I woke up and I do remember how happy they all seemed when I said hello, I guess the word was from the doc or nurses was that yes jordy had a serious brain injury and we will just have to wait and see what he is like when he wakes up, them being happy I could say hello to them and ask them why I am there obvious  showed them I still have a brain, lol , a hour or so later my Neuro doc came in the room to do a check up on me,  I do remember the very first question he asked me, hello jordy I’m doc so and so, and I have a question for u, ME; ya go ahead,  DOC; What made u be able to get up and walk to your friends front door, how did u even know where u were hurt or even if there was a front door??

I thought about the question and how I felt when I woke up on the cement all blurry and not knowing really anything , and all I could do was think about my mom and how much I missed her and needed her to save me again, so my answer to the docs question was : MAYBE MY MOTHER’S SPIRIT!!!

He looked at me shook his head and said , Well jordy you are one very lucky man, knowing u had to get off the cement and get help saved your life, I’m amazed you are not in a coma, and are even awake talking to me today, u know most people would have a better chance at winning the lottery then being able to get up and walk on the cement, you are ONE LUCKY MAN!! ME; THANKS DOC

SOOOO. Now I have told u my brief story about my brain injury AKA; Traumatic brain injury, I can say it has been a long recovery, I do believe I still am recovering and always will be recovering, I have had to have 4 surgeries in the short span of 3.5 years do to complications and infections, I am presently living my life without 1/5 of my skull,  I have a plastic piece that fits inside my ball cap that acts as my skull, I MAY LIVE THE REST OF MY LIFE OUT LIKE THIS as my body is trying to rebuild my skull and calcify my Dura, DURA=THE MEMBRANE THAT KEEPS ALL YOUR SPINAL FLUIDS INSIDE THE SPINAL CORD AND BRAIN, LOL if u don’t understand maybe just google what a Dura is.

my 100% replica skull my Neuro doc gave me after my last surgery.

a photo of 100%replica of my skull and the hole i have in it.
my 100% replica skull my neuro doc gave me after my last surg

THREW OUT MY RECOVERY I wrote a book about my life and my injury, it is called the WILLPOWER TO LIVE, FB_IMG_1449667634774you can buy it online, and once again u can google it,                                                                                                                        OK so now about my art!! and I’m sorry if my short story about me has bored u, but I feel like I needed to tell it so u would understand me and my art a lot easier, Well before my accident I couldn’t even draw a stickman, well maybe not a running stick man, and after writing my book I was soooo bored with TV and everything, it’s not like I wanted to go out and party or do anything to exiting, soo. one night I picked up a pencil and paper and started doodling, I do remember I did this a lot before I got hurt when I was on the phone or whatever, but nothing really ever made sense, but this time when I did it I could see things, I could somewhat draw what I thought about, don’t get me wrong here, like I couldn’t draw just anything, lol but this time I really enjoyed it and it made me forget I had a brain injury, like it took me to a happy place, so as time went on I kept drawing and now painting, friends would pop by and be like  wow Jord, that’s pretty damn good u can do that now, its so so so unlike u to be drawing flowers and koi fish and stuff, I shake my head and say ohhh I know, lol I had a few different appointments with a few different Nero doctors around Vancouver to get tested on my brain damage, I told them both about how I could draw now and I love doing it, one of them asked me what hand I was, like left or right, i told him I have been left handed my hole life 4 everything, he said ok that makes a lot on sense, because u r left handed that shows me your artistic side is on the left side of your brain, meaning……. it is compensating for the damaged write side of the brain making it work a lot harder, Right when he said that it made a lot of sense to me because I was always thinking of my next piece, my dreams were now crazy and so far fetched, I told him this as well, he said I somewhat want to understand u jordy, and there has been known phenomenon where people get brain injuries can all of sudden play the guitar like jimi Hendrix or the piano like Mozart, lol I laughed out loud and said doc I don’t think I am any kind of amazing artist and my stuff is very basic, but I am really grateful I can do it now as I think it has helped me recover so well, doc said yes of course it has helped u recover well because you are using your brain so much when u r drawing jordy, it is fantastic for you and keep doing it, if it is ok with you may I share your story with other doctors and patients of mine, I said yes of course!!!!

So now u know how I began my art path, I do call my art west coast fusion art because if you know old school Japanese art, well u can see a touch of west coast, ME, is mixed in with it, both my grandfather were really into the Asian theme, of them I remember all the Asian masks he had on the walls, and weird little things on shelves, I do believe this is where I get it from, I myself do love the Asian culture and all the different temples and gods they have, sooooo un-boring like the god we are suppose to have, I’m far from a religious man, but the Asian stuff is VERY FRIGGIN COOL!!

I do hope the “about me” hasn’t been to boring 4 u to read, but I just feel like I needed to share it, yes this is my blog, I will be treating it somewhat like my art journal, if u decide u want to follow me, u will see me putting up a lot of my art and sharing why i made that piece,  I will also be talking about my life and the struggles I have, the good, the bad, and the ugly

art world expo 2015

WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB, IT JUST DEPENDS ON IF YOU HAVE THE WILLPOWER TO MAKE IT TO THE TOP OR NOT!                                                      -Jordy Johnson