Still, things were tough. When I was 13, I broke both of my legs. I was in a wheelchair for a year and a half, and I had to stop playing the sports I loved.
All the disappointing and frustrating things I’d experienced—especially the bullying—made me angry. Life seemed really unfair sometimes, but I felt better when I sat in front of a canvas. I released my anger through my art, using a paintbrush to express emotions that I couldn’t easily express with my voice.
I painted people who inspired me, like President Barack Obama. I painted my favorite athletes, like professional basketball player Kevin Durant.
I never could have imagined that Kevin would actually see my painting on Instagram—but he did, and he loved it! After he saw it, he asked me to paint more portraits of his family. That’s when my life really started to change.