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Community Spotlight: Lauren Marie Brank

Lauren Marie is a mixed media and abstract artist from Houston, Texas. Diagnosed with autism and ADHD in her adulthood, her art often explores themes of confusion, struggle and healing as it relates to her journey of mental health.

black and white photo of a woman with cropped hair, sitting with legs folded behind a large canvas with her artwork on it, that she is resting her arm and head on

When asked what neurodivergence means to Lauren Marie, she movingly wrote the following:

  • It's a dichotomy, at times a paradox, at times a harmony.

  • It's a feeling of dissonance between the internal and external world and the inability to identify it.

  • It's perfectionism coupled with an attention span that alternates between hyperfocus and utter non-existence.

  • It's a simultaneous feeling of overstimulation and exhaustion.

  • It's Tiktok in my head, on autoscroll with an algorithm I hate.

  • It's daily dissociation and nightly decision fatigue.

  • It's having experiences you worry you won't remember and others you wish you could forget.

  • It's confusing people with moments of brilliance, creativity, and clarity, coupled with other times where your brain feels like it just stops working and you can't make words work right no matter how hard you try and you see their blank stare and you just ramble trying to make it all make sense and then spend too much time later wondering if you had any success putting your circus of thoughts into words

  • It's a desperate need for silence, where every sound makes you look more dead in the eyes.

  • It's feeling like animals understand you better than some people do.

  • It's seeing injustice and obsessively wishing you could find a way to fix it.

  • It's an invisible disability, medical gaslighting, and systemic oppression.

  • It's a lack of object permanence, "out of sight, out of mind" maze of life.

  • It's knowing you're different but not knowing why, then meeting someone who thinks the same way you do and finally feeling "normal."

  • It's understanding how certain kids think, struggling to communicate it to other adults, and feeling disappointed when you're both blown off.

In her most recent project, Overstimulated, daring colors of pinks, oranges and greens swarm a white light that looks desperate in trying to flourish among the chaos. Created through acrylic, fabric, paper and thread, texture and color are combined powerfully to convey the difficulty of peacefully existing in a fast-paced world as a person with neurodivergence.

Beyond being an artist, Lauren Marie is a sign language interpreter, wife and mother. She also facilitates a weekly support group for neurodivergent adults. To explore more of Lauren Marie's work, check her out on Instagram or reach out to her at

painting with bright strokes of purple, pink and white, at the corner lies a black piece of fabric

Deema Alharthi is a writer currently exploring the intersection of disability justice and the arts. She is interested in processes of community-building and ways of contributing to them, both digitally and in the real world.


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