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Life & Work with Lori Joy Peterson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Joy Peterson.

Hi Lori, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started my journey as a visual artist when I faced a long-term illness. Before that time I was into music and poetry. I was urged by my mother to “do something”.

I fell into a depression, but I started to draw and discovered a hidden talent for painting. During that time, painting has been my refuge. After my father passed, I discovered a love for jazz that I had previously hated.

I now have a running jazz series, bird series, and African series. These series are my main stays as an artist. They represent who I am as an artist and represent my struggles and journey as a woman and as an artist.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Absolutely not. I am a young breast cancer survivor. I was first diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer at age 27. I am a 3-time breast cancer survivor. 20 years after my diagnosis, I still paint every day. I am very open in my breast cancer journey on social media.

I chose to go “flat” and not get the boob job or breast reconstruction. I discovered how to be feminine without breasts but also in the process I took my drawing skills to another level. I started sewing and designing clothes for my flat chest. The way I design the clothes is an art within itself. No one knows the wiser I had a mastectomy because of the way I design the clothes.

During radiation, I painted every day to show exactly what it is like to go thru radiation. Art is therapy to me. My goal in showing my journey is not for sympathy. By painting, my goal is to show women they can be happy, healthy, and whole despite intense struggles.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My jazz art is what I am most proud of. After my father died suddenly and tragically, I started listening to jazz music. I finally appreciated that music.

When I do my jazz paintings, I paint to jazz. My jazz art is full of movement. Others have felt the music in my work. Wilmington Star News did an article on artwork. Here is the link:

https://www.starnewsonline.com/story/entertainment/arts/2018/10/03/meet-wilmingtons-jazz-painter-lori-joy-peterson/9715110007/.

Wrightsville Beach Magazine did a piece as well. https://wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com/all-that-jazz-2/.

I was also honored in 2017 to create a piece for a door prize at the NC Jazz Festival.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I truly believe anyone can be an artist. Artist is about expression. I love realistic, technical art. But I also believe art can be used to release pain and help anyone dealing with issues in their life.

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