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False /oidc-signin/en-us/ Convatec Group Contact Us Brasil Brasil United States (English) United States (English) Estados Unidos (Español) Estados Unidos (Español) Argentina Argentina Canada (English) Canada (English) Canada (Français) Canada (Français) Chile Chile Colombia Colombia Ecuador Ecuador México México Perú Perú Belize Belize Guyana Guyana Jamaica Jamaica Venezuela Venezuela Costa Rica Costa Rica Curaçao Curaçao República Dominicana República Dominicana Guatemala Guatemala Honduras Honduras Nicaragua Nicaragua Panamá Panamá Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Suriname Suriname El Salvador El Salvador United Kingdom United Kingdom France France Deutschland Deutschland Italia Italia Україна Україна België België Česko Česko Danmark Danmark España España Ireland Ireland Nederland Nederland Norge Norge Österreich Österreich Polska Polska Schweiz (Deutsch) Schweiz (Deutsch) Slovensko Slovensko Suisse (Français) Suisse (Français) Suomi Suomi Sverige Sverige Türkiye Türkiye Ελλάδα Ελλάδα Россия Россия Bosna i Hercegovina Bosna i Hercegovina България България Eesti Eesti Hrvatska Hrvatska Magyarország Magyarország Ísland Ísland Lietuva Lietuva Latvija Latvija Северна Македонија Северна Македонија Malta Malta România România Srbija Srbija Slovenija Slovenija الإمارات العربية المتحدة الإمارات العربية المتحدة البحرين البحرين مصر مصر ישראל ישראל ایران ایران الأردن الأردن عُمان عُمان قطر قطر پاکستان پاکستان لبنان لبنان الكويت الكويت المملكة العربية السعودية المملكة العربية السعودية Suid-Afrika Suid-Afrika العراق العراق New Zealand New Zealand 日本 日本 Australia Australia India India Malaysia Malaysia Singapore Singapore 대한민국 대한민국 中国大陆 中国大陆 中国台湾 中国台湾 ไทย ไทย Indonesia Indonesia Việt Nam Việt Nam Philippines Philippines Hong Kong SAR China (English) Hong Kong SAR China (English) 中国香港特别行政区 (中文(简体,中国香港特别行政区)) 中国香港特别行政区 (中文(简体,中国香港特别行政区))

Meet Richard, me+ community member

The fact that Richard is a C-5 quadriplegic means that holding a paintbrush might be his first challenge. “I found that sticking the paintbrush handle into my regular wheelchair gloves worked pretty well. I know that some people hold the paintbrush in their mouths, but I like to use charcoal and that wouldn’t work too well.”

His paintings are intense. You can see the extensive personal reflections of both the subject that Richard is capturing, and that person’s creative process. “Right now, I’m doing motion studies, expression studies.” Richard explains. “One of them is called Unmasked. This is new territory for me. I’m trying to do it so her face is moving, one side with a mask, one side without. I’ve already taken her picture, so that’s my reference.”

a man in a wheelchair with a dog in front of him ;

“The reason I’m able to do what I do is… well, after you get injured, you’re super confused, you’re in a completely new body, you don’t know what you’re capable of. For me, what worked was getting out and being around other people. You quickly find out there aren’t that many limitations. I didn’t want to go back to work, that’s for sure. I used to have to travel a lot, I was in a different hotel 3 days a week, so I’d bring a sketch pad and charcoal.”

“I hung out with my great uncle in Oakland for a year. He got me into painting. He taught me everything without teaching me anything, you know.”

“Initially I tried doing sketches, but I was really weak. I could only draw for 5 minutes at a time and that was really frustrating. I knew I had to get stronger, and I knew I had to get out to be with other people. So, I got into sports, competitive pushing with the guys. We would do 10 miles, just at the mall where it was flat and air conditioned.”
 

Richard had no idea that one day he’d be outside the malls at art exhibits, selling his work to the public. “I didn’t really think about doing art professionally until one of my friends talked me into going to the Rancho Los Amigos art show. Art at Rancho blew my mind. I told myself, let me just start working and I’ll be in this show next year! Sure enough, that year was different because my arm strength was better.”

As he tells the story, Richard’s voice warms and accelerates, and I begin to hear the passion I can see in his work. “Sometimes it takes a little bit more patience. The brush makes a huge difference! Sometimes I’ll spin the brush, use different brushes to get different effects. I remember hearing that Cure supports medical research. Right on. I think everybody should do that! I’ve never had a single problem with Cure, I like their products.” With Richard’s experience and success, I ask what advice he has for people at the beginning of this journey.

“It takes some patience and time, but more so it takes getting out and doing things. Once you are actually experiencing it, you’ll find it really isn’t that different than it was before. When accidents happen you just make it funny! Why trip over it? You just laugh, just make it funny.”

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Adjusting to cathing can be tough, with a range of practical, physical and emotional challenges. You don’t have to figure it out alone.

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Call 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).

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