In a recent post of mine, I told you I was participating in our good buddy Julia's competition to design an image that symbolized Sjogren's Syndrome (or my experience with it). Since Julia has now posted her finalists, I can reveal my full contribution (and I use the term loosely) to her effort.
As a visual thinker, I hoped the inspiration for this piece would come to me easily, but alas it wasn't that easy. The only symptom that every Sjoggie I know has in common in fatigue, and nearly all experience brain fog, but I have no idea how to visualize these experiences. I'm also not aware of any test, treatment, or device/tool that would resonate with all Sjoggies. So instead, I thought about what having Sjogren's means to me. To me, knowing I have Sjogren's frequently calls to mind the biggest, baddest trigger I have - the sun. Sun exposure is what kicked my disease into an active state when I started high school, and even mild exposure or God forbid, a burn, can send me into a flare now. The extreme, months-long flares I had in high school were much worse and it took a long time to learn how to manage my sun exposure more effectively.
That's when it struck me - the sun...causing flares...a solar flare! That's a sufficiently sardonic and yet punny symbol if ever there was one. It symbolizes both a burst of energy which people would usually consider a positive thing but which for a Sjoggie can precede a disease flare, and a destructive and essentially unpredictable force outside of our control.
Creative Challenge Finalists Revealed.
Fortunately, though, her post also contains submissions from truly gifted and exceedingly clever individuals. I am quite content to leave this type of imagery in their far more capable hands. Head on over and check out their handiwork - it's really quite touching! I think you'll like it....