Welcome to Lady Sketch.
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I’m Wenna, aka Lady Sketch – Cornish artist, writer and two-time survivor of non hodgkins lymphoma.
Welcome to my Art, Anxiety & Life After Lymphoma Blog.
Lady Sketch Background
In 2012, I was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – quite the mouthful. I’d never paid attention to the word ‘lymphoma’ before. To me, it sounded ethereally floaty, like jelly fish. You can imagine my shock and fear that accompanied the knowledge it is in fact cancer of the lymphatic system.
Long story short (long version here) I was graded at stage 4B. A clue as to the precarious nature of my situation? There is no stage 5, however reassurances came that it was curable and treatable. That is, after a treatment regime described to me as ‘a stroll through hell…’
Fast forward twelve months (six of which were spent navigating my medical tour of the underworld) and I’d returned. This time the news was much worse. My relapse in such a short space of time meant that survival odds had plummeted. I had a 10% chance of coming out the other side.
I’m Cornish however, and we are known for our determination (the words ‘stubborn tuss’ spring to mind). I informed my consultant I had absolutely no intention of leaving my two children, and mercifully survived to tell the tale.
Lady Sketch Remission
Five years later and I am still in grateful remission. I’m also still dealing with the physical and emotional fallout of what happened. Not gonna lie, these years have been shitty. Worsening mobility and a steep decline in mental health are taking a toll, and I feel far from the person I used to be. However, making art has been my medicine, progressing to running Lady Sketch, here in sunny North Cornwall.
Writing to make sense of my world has been a habit of mine since childhood. It was only natural to keep that going in the darkest hours of my life. The road to recovery is a winding one however, and it has taken me this long to dust off the old diaries, re-digest the contents and put them into some sort of blog-worthy order.
In the interests of not descending into deep depression, I’ll also be writing about life in Cornwall and making art as part of my recovery. Having always loved colour and art, I was shamed into not taking it any further at age sixteen. My GCSE teacher told me I had plenty of enthusiasm but no talent to back it up. Always nice to have your aspirations shot down in flames at a tender age, especially when art itself is so subjective. Being young and impressionable, I took her at her word.
This all changed post cancer, however. I found art to be an incredibly theraputic part of my recovery process when I founded Who Gives A Rock in 2014. I’m now taking things up a notch and attempting to make my living via Lady Sketch.
Lady Sketch Commissions
I love working with words, texture and colour, so Lady Sketch is pretty much all about that. I’ve previously worked on interior and exterior murals, hand lettered chalkboards, and custom made signage .
Currently, I’m working on a quirky range of colourfully worded stationery, clothing, home decor and more. Basically, when you don’t have the words to express what you want to say, Lady Sketch has got you covered. This ever expanding range is now available to buy in my shop. I’m also using mixed media art journalling as a way of working through my mental health issues. Keep an eye on my Facebook and Instagram pages for more info.
I’ve been lucky enough to create some beautiful commissions since Lady Sketch began – you can see some of them here.
Lady Sketch Blog
If you remain unimpressed by my doodles however, you could check out the Life After Lymphoma blog. It’s not all doom and gloom, but, full disclosure, there is a fair bit of swearing…
I’m a proper chatterbox and big on empathy, so feel free to drop me a message or leave me a comment. Meeting other people walking the cancer path is always a privilege and I love to hear about your experiences – I will reply whenever I can.
Here’s to your health and mine