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Community Spotlight: Maria

Maria sees life in magnificent colors. Her art is a cosmic circus of concepts, reflecting her experience navigating the world as a person with ADHD.

Growing up in Russia, Maria’s neurodivergence resulted in moments of hardship, in which her complex traits were often met with hostile reactions. Her art has always transcended the boundaries of proportions and traditional color schemes– a powerful creative instinct that was seen as an unwelcome departure from the conventions of art education in her homeland. Existing in a rigid system of structures, Maria spent her adolescence surrounded by the opinion that ADHD was hindering her ability to make art, rather than one part of what makes both her and her creations unique.

colourful swirls with numbers written across

In addition to being an artist, Maria has completed a graduate degree in developmental psychology and is engaged in health research and education. Her academic and professional pursuits not only helped her gain a deeper understanding of her own experience with ADHD, they also exposed her to working closely with children with neurodivergence. In the hopes of eventually becoming a psychologist, Maria took on a teaching assistant role in a Special Education Needs (SEN) classroom– a fruitful endeavor guided by her desire to help people with neurodivergence have a more assured sense of self starting from a young age.

Maria’s art exists in eras, all of which are characterized by colors and themes that convey a given chapter in her life; “My art is part of how I externalize all of [my] different feelings,” she says in an interview. In high school, she described her creative work to be filled with shades of black, gray, brown, and purple. Now, and with a more vivid outlook on life, her art is a collection of what inspires her about the world; glimmering colors and flamboyance radiate through every painted canvas.

Discover more of Maria's art on Instagram @neuromoosh

a grid of various brightly coloured drawings including an image of an orange, an anatomical heart, a drink, a woman, sunglasses and a pineapple

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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