There is a lot of beauty and kindness in the world if you look for it. I do not remember the first time I saw Iggy Proof’s art online. I will never forget the first time I saw her artwork in person. Iggy’s art was a part of the Born This Way Foundation’s Bus Tour – her art covered the bus, and I immediately felt joy and inspired. The vibrant colorful bus depicted every member of Lady Gaga’s family and team, plus there were butterflies. As a Lupus warrior, my heart warmed, and I felt an instant connection to the artist and the organization.
Cut to the Fall of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic – my friend, the someone I turn to, my “anchor” Giuseppe Anthony’s French Bulldog was entered in an online competition “America’s Favorite Pet” and as Winston kept winning the preliminary rounds, I was helping Giuseppe figure out ways to get votes and build online community support. As @ItalianMonster8 on Twitter, Giuseppe often shares Lady Gaga Fan Art, and little did I know that when I said, “Imagine if Iggy Proof did Winston Art; that would be cool.” Giuseppe said he had her email address and what would it hurt to ask her.
A few days later, Giuseppe showed me the coolest illustration of a French Bulldog ever – the fact that it was Winston (@winston_jack_frenchie on Instagram) depicted brought me such joy and warmed my heart. That is the power of art; it makes you feel.
When I asked Giuseppe about the experience, he said, “The kindness was in the act, but not in the art. However, when I saw the finished product it radiated with kindness, in the way it made me feel.”
The art-inspired Giuseppe to get creative himself. The Iggy Proof design of Winston has been made into wearable artwork, and Giuseppe had a custom hoodie created. For Halloween, Giuseppe created a Winston pumpkin inspired by the art.
Shortly after Halloween, I found out that I was a recipient of the 2020 HealtheVoices Impact Fund a grant given to Patient Advocates. One of the requests of the HealtheVoices team was that I submit a high-resolution image of my logo. My logo, I am just one woman striving to thrive while living with Lupus. My project needed an impactful logo, and I remembered the beautiful butterflies from the Born This Way Foundation Tour Bus and Iggy’s recent kindness. I decided to ask her to create art for me to share during my “Lupus With Flair” campaign to raise awareness while spotlighting Lupus patients and awareness on Twitter and Instagram during May of 2021.
Iggy immediately said yes. When I asked her why she said yes to me, Iggy replied “I respect you because you always put “kindness’ above all. And you keep inspiring so many people while fighting against your own difficulty. It meant so much to me that I was given the chance to draw your logo.”
When I saw the art and the beauty of the design, I knew that it would make an impact, and long before the official announcement, I heard from the HealtheVoices team they loved the vibrant colorful logo as well. What a way to help me create an impact. I am thrilled and excited to share Lupus Awareness during May of 2021 using the hashtag #LupusWithFlair and Iggy’s art to inspire the community of lupus warriors and beyond. As my “anchor” Giuseppe Anthony said, “Kindness is a gift that you can always regift and get away with.”