February 28, 2011

The Forecast is HOPE

Marie Tomeoki, Unprepared in Wellyboots, Mixed Media
Marie Tomeoki started her artistic career as a professional, classical 
ballet dancer training throughout Japan to the USA and Canada. 
She studied Psychology and Dance at York University in Toronto and 
has since embarked on a career moving towards the visual fine arts, 
with a mission to highlight mental health awareness; having 
experienced mental illness all her life.

The artist states:“Throughout history there have been many 
artists afflicted with mental illnesses, and I am another one of 
them; I suffered all my life with chronic depression, major anxiety 
disorders, as well as my devastating experience with severe 
anorexia and bulimia which I have worked hard to recover 
completely from (which is exceptionally rare).  I have experienced
the countless Emergency Room visits, hospital stays, the Intensive
Psychiatric Assessment Units, Psychiatric Emergency Rooms, 
inpatient and outpatient programs, treatment facilities, groups, 
the professionals, the other patients some of whom I've made great 
connections, the mountain of medications, and the ICU for those
times my suicide attempts were near fatal.”  
She adds, “I do not want to talk about the darkness whilst in the
struggles and depths of my mental illnesses as I believe we've 
all experienced in some form what these times feel like, and 'know'.
But I do want to and need to talk of and spread the word of all
the efforts I have taken to prepare, dig, crawl, and climb (through
the mud) my way out of and to where I am today; alive, proud of
who I am as an individual, hopeful, believing, grateful, and totally 
embracing and fascinated by everyone and thing in the world. One
step, one moment at a time, anything is possible.  I will spread the
word and share my life stories to support, teach, and help anyone
and everyone who has been touched by the world of mental health.”  
“This is my purpose in life: I've known it deep inside for a long 
time coming.”

The Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health Competition was
established in 2008.  Since then, each year a stamp has been 
created for mental health awareness; the sale of those stamps 
from 2008 to 2010 has raised nearly one million Canadian dollars
for the foundation.

For the 2011 stamp design, 315 submissions were sent to the 
foundation between November 2010 and January 10th, 2011.  
Marie’s "Forecast Hope" was selected as a finalist on February 13th,
after an initial Internet voting competition with half-million hits,
followed by another 19 selections by a panel of judges.
From now to March 14th, anybody can cast one vote per day,
with further points awarded by adding a Facebook / Twitter link
via the site, please show your support by voting for Marie's design

Marie Tomeoki’s work has been shown within the Toronto community,
with gallery exhibitions in New York, Italy and soon to be shown 
in Los Angeles.  Her art has generated extensive interest, with 
works purchased by the likes of a film director and family collectors.

Visit the artist website here: www.marietomeoki.com
View her blog here: http://beingmariet.blogspot.com