Artist Maia Shockley
A true testimony to fortitude is found in the character and artistry of 13-year-old Maia Shockley, a young yet extremely talented contemporary artist. When admiring her stunning work alone, you could never guess her youth, nor her drive to find ability in disability. Maia has a genetic disorder, SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), inhibiting her from walking or utilizing the majority of her muscles. While many may find this to be a disadvantage and heavy weight, she honors her struggles but keeps the focus on her incredible capabilities.
Maia creates astonishing works, her medium being only her thumb and a digital trackpad. She utilizes her creativity and tenacity to overcome her diagnosis with astounding pride and dignity. "I can't remember when I started creating", Maia confessed as she reflected on her years as an artist. "It's fun; I get to use my imagination." She dabbles across endless styles of art creation, but by letting her imagination run wild often finds her work in the realm of surrealism. Maia credits her imagination, alongside her adoration of musical theater and staggering performances, as her ultimate muse.
Maia flabbergasts her audiences with her businesslike mindset and incredible attention to detail, continuously reminding us that maturity and professionalism do not only come with age. Her art is a true testament to her resilience and passion, and she is a powerful force to be reckoned with. "My inspiration is the hope that I can inspire others through my art and my story. I'm not in any rush. I'm motivated by motivating others." To Maia, the creation of art is the creation of opportunity. An opportunity to inspire, delight, and hearten resilience - not in spite of hardships, but by utilizing and overcoming them to create and inspire.