ASHLAND Despite life’s hard times, artist Sydney Shae Earl finds ways to cope.

The 24-year-old Ashlander who struggles wth anxiety and depression finds ways through her art.

“Venting my feelings through my art has made my symptoms manageable,” she said. “I plan on eventually being able to be completely self-sufficient on my art and raise a happy family.”

After graduating from Boyd County High School in 2015, Earl has taken classes at ACTC while continuing to make art.

“My favorite medium is alcohol markers because they create a tangible one-of-a kind experience. They blend well and can build,” she said.

She mostly works in digital art now, she said, but the medium isn’t as important as the message.

“I use my art to create beauty in everything. This world seems helpless on some days, but I know I can always create something beautiful to change the day around,” she said.

Her favorite subjects tend to be mythological characters — women and creatures from mythology, folk tales and images in Asian cultures. She has shown her work at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center and at Paint and Sip in Huntington.

The only competition she has entered was a sidewalk chalk art event in Ashland. “It was a wonderful opportunity to engage all the artists locally and meet some new friends,” she said.

Life experiences change our outlook, and Earl said the loss of her brother, Cordell, has changed how she sees the world.

“I appreciate every person for who they are,” she said, recalling their shared experiences as children. “We were eight years apart, but as I started to grow, he kept me protected. He was always thrilled to see my latest piece or offer criticism on any given day. He was a light in the dark and he still continues to be that for me. He always told me how it is and had the biggest heart I’d ever known. He still continues to be loved by many and I’m proud to call him my big brother.”

She said she owes not only her brother for his support but her parents, Deitra and James Hulett, and her partner, all of whom allow her to discover the advantage of having art in her life.

“Your art doesn’t have to be anything. Let the emotions go, and let them flow onto the paper,” she said. “My mental health is an ongoing struggle and releasing my emotions into something tangible makes it so much more manageable. I encourage everyone to try an art form for those hard moments. Even if you think you’re not good, who cares? It’s for you. Make yourself a priority once in a while.”

Earl takes commissions, including family and pet portraits. She has pieces for sale through Squid Ink Scribbles on Facebook.

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyndependent.com

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