When you are looking through the viewfinder of a camera, you are choosing your focal point, concentrating on composition, thinking about light, and running through a litany of camera settings to make sure you can capture the right shot. Those decisions are made in a blink of an eye and done while being aware of your surroundings. You are living in the moment.
Living with Celiac Disease*, an intolerance to the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye, also forces you to live in the moment. Since a tiny crumb can make Celiacs ill, they are always vetting the foods they eat and products they use to make sure they do not contain gluten.
I like to combine my photography, with different mediums. Many of my projects require me to use papers, glues, inks, and other craft products. Knowing what is in every product I use is a requirement. The products I use must be gluten free.
The way I approach projects has changed. Reading product ingredients to make sure it’s gluten free is now the first step of every project. For example, the paste paper recipe that I used for years used wheat flour. It had to be replaced with a gluten-free version. If I am in doubt of a product, I do without.
While living in the moment with Celiac Disease may seem overwhelming or repressive, it is not. It’s a grounding experience and helps you focus. It helps you open up to new paths that you may have not considered before. When this same approach is applied to your art, it helps you grow and become more creative. And, after all, that is what being an artist is about.
My name is Carol Heppner and I am a photographer, artist and author who suffers from Celiac Disease which is an autoimmune disorder. It is triggered when eating the protein, gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye. For more information please visit: http://www.celiac.com/ or http://www.celiac.org/cd-main.php