CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Taylor Lee began painting as a little girl to pass the time with her grandmother and she now uses her talents to help her get through both the depression and manic stages of bipolar disorder.

  • She says her therapists encouraged her to use art "expressively, not as decoration."
  • She says her disorder inspires her work.
  • Her pieces of artwork can be found on her website.

During her manic moments Lee uses bright colors to paint vibrant florals.

"During those high energy moments instead of just sitting around and being uncomfortable with the high level of energy that I have, I pour it into my work," she said.

Lee is very open about her bipolar disorder and how it inspires her artwork. You can find her work and her story on her website.


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The therapist wanted me to use art expressively, not as decoration. This concept was completely foreign to me - my entire life consisted of me trying to look and act perfect. Expression wasn’t comfortable at all. . This therapist wanted me to let the hurricane inside of me OUT? To let it rain across the pages in swirling paints and torn shreds of paper mache, to let its fury tear down everything around me? . 10 years deep into anorexia and bipolar disorder (that one I wasn’t aware of yet), I had starved my body and locked everything I felt into my heart. I numbed myself. I couldn’t feel hunger, and I couldn’t feel my emotions. . I spent many of my first art therapy sessions staring at blank, white paper, the visual equivalence of silence, numbness. When I did make marks they wet calculated, tense, hesitant. . I remember when I finally broke that silence. It all surged forth with a power that I could not contain any longer. The armor I built cracked, and I created an angry, red painting full of staples and burlap dipped into colors like flames, scratched violently with my own fingernails. I felt my sorrow and pain pouring out in a wave that I couldn’t stop, like poison draining from a wound. . My face was hot with tears, my hair sticky and tangled with dry paint, my body shocked by the volume at which I could use my art to scream. *continued in comments*

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