Jessica Taylor-Bearman was born in March 1991, at Maidstone Hospital in England. She grew up in Rochester and Canterbury, Kent, where she attended Rochester Grammar School for Girls.
At the age of 15, she became acutely unwell with an illness called Myalgic Encephalomyletis (M.E). She was hospitalised from 2006-2010, suffering with the most severe form of the condition. This included her being bedridden, unable to move, speak, eat and more. She began to write in her mind, and when finally able to speak again, she began to write through her audio diary ‘Bug’.
In 2009, Jessica began her journey to being able to move, in a rather unique way…through laughter! She realised that through balancing a paintbrush in her hand, laughter caused the paintbrush to move, creating a new form of art that she called a ‘Laugh-O-Gram‘. Her first collection was exhibited in the Canterbury Art Festival 2009. All her pieces have been exhibited since then. In 2010, she founded a charity called Share a Star, whilst still in hospital to help more seriously unwell youngsters. It is now a registered charity that she continues to run. Jessica’s journey has been tempestuous since she left hospital for home, and she has continued to fight for her life. She is currently still bedridden, eleven years after it began. She writes a Facebook blog called The World of One Room and made a YouTube video of the same name that has reached tens of thousands of people in multiple countries. Jessica has also featured in a film called Unrest. The aim which of both of these is to raise awareness.
Jessica’s ambition has always been to be an author.
Painting through Laughter – A Laugh -O- Gram
There was a time when I could not move, eat, speak or do anything really. I lived in a locked in syndrome state, where I heard everything but could do nothing. People were always moaning and were always being negative. I dreamt of finding a way in which I could change that and make art through hope. This came when I realised that laughter still made my immobile body slightly jerk because it is a physical motion. A Laugh -O- Gram is measure of laughter and has gone from creating mere lines, to landscapes too!