Updated: Feb 20, 2021
"Simplicity" is an idea I have strived to achieve since the beginning of my illness. On May 24, 2017 I was admitted to the hospital with stroke-like symptoms and soon after diagnosed with Toxic Acute Progressive Leukoencephalopathy and Locked-In Syndrome. From that day on, my life became extremely complex and the complications, both personal and medical, were never ending. My life was never a walk in the park, but I never truly appreciated how important the simplicities of life are until I began my journey to recovery. My reasoning for this word is multi-focal just like my case. The only word that can accurately describe my case is "complex" and I am un-ironically striving for just the opposite; simple. After surviving and overcoming locked in syndrome, all I want are the simplicities in life; things like talking, connecting with friends and family, enjoying solid foods, breathing on my own, going outside instead of being locked in a hospital, being able to feed myself and even taking a walk in the park. All of these simple things I took for granted are now goals I am working towards being able to enjoy again.
Since I started my GoFundMe I wanted to create an opportunity for people to share my story outside of the internet. I want to be more than a face on the web, I want to be a person who motivates and inspires others. I created a design to put on merchandise in the hopes that it would spark conversation and interest in my journey. By sharing my story with as many people as possible, I hope those who are struggling can find strength and courage to keep pushing forward as I have.
I created the "Simplicity" logo out of a personal challenge. I wanted to make something myself, without the assistance I require for all my daily living tasks. I wanted to make something unique, cool and something I was proud of. I spoke with my neurological occupational therapist about painting something with her guidance but she encouraged me to do it myself, without assistance. Originally I thought it would be impossible for me to actually write or paint something legible. Among my many medical conditions, I suffer from a condition called ataxia (uncontrolled muscle movement) that makes even holding objects very difficult, nonetheless actually trying to write anything (or paint). I was envisioning a Jackson Pollock or Blueman Group style abstract painting but my OT encouraged me to actually make a plan, envision it and then paint it.
I came up with a vision of painting the word “Simplicity.” This photograph below was my objective.
The scribble underneath the word “simplicity” is something I have been working very hard on, my signature. I wanted to sign my artwork and I am proud to admit it's one of my best signatures to date.
My first work of art captured on film: Video
I scanned the artwork to FG Designs and this is the proof we decided on!
We had some white shirts printed up and packaged them thoughtfully. Other colors and styles are coming out soon depending on the response. This design and symbolism will make a nice print and I am releasing a limited series of 100 numbered 24x16 prints of “Simplicity" soon.
Thank you for your support, generosity, and being a part of The Jacob Haendel Recovery Project. Remember the beauty of Simplicity and never stop pushing forward!