Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2015 - Page 44

“My art becomes my voice when my actual voice is no longer enough.” to make me FEEL that I wasn't. Jennifer was that person. In her I found a friend, a confidante and a magic mirror. I've always wanted a magic mirror. Anne-Louise’s artistic versatility is amazing! From all my difficulties and achievements, I have grown into myself. I've developed beyond my dreams. I've found that I can be bold and brave. I can be witty and wry. I can be determined and daring. And I can also be vulnerable, timid … afraid. And I discovered that there is no shame in that. I discovered that I am human, intensely and unquestionably so, and that is a truly wonderful thing to be. What is even more wonderful is that I found pride in myself, in being an Aspie and in being an artist. I am me. No one can ever truly stop you from being intrinsically and perfectly you. Your life is a canvas – a beautiful, blank canvas waiting to be filled with your own colors. Paint however you want to paint. Whatever you do, don't you dare let anyone paint it for you. I am confident that you will be able to create the most wonderful masterpiece by yourself. Come and join me. I'm still painting mine. 44 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses Anne-Louise Richards is a 19-year-old artist and generally creative sort with Asperger’s living in Dorset, England. She is self-taught and has recently illustrated Sisterhood of the Spectrum, written by Jennifer O’Toole. She sells her art on her Facebook and Etsy pages and is open to commission.