Freethinker. Open-minded truth seeker. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) survivor. Artist. These are just a few of the ways one could describe British Columbia’s Kevin Orlando Lau. In 2012, after 16 years of fighting with his invisible disability, during a 16-week Neurofeedback brain treatment, Kevin transformed himself into a budding artist. Through this process he learned that strength does not derive from bulging muscles or the “perfect” brain – rather, it comes from within. His beautiful paintings are transfixing, and touch viewers on a deep, spiritual level.
AXIS: Please tell us about yourself and your disability?
Kevin: My name is Kevin Orlando Lau. Also known as Rainbow Artist Orlando L. in the art community. Currently I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as a Canadian. I was born and raised in Hong Kong China as a Chinese. I had my brain injury back in 1996 when I was age 24. My injury was caused by severe poisoning. The result of the intensive medical emergency is a near death experience and a devastating invisible disability. Life was not easy for the longest time and it took me a while to become who I am today. After 16 years of fighting with my invisible disability, I finally transformed myself into a new artist in 2012. I never knew I could paint at all! In April 2012, I suddenly started watercolour painting during a 16-week neurofeedback brain treatment. Since then, art has been very healing for me and for my spiritual growth. My life has changed completely to a whole new positive direction. The journey I had wasn't easy but it taught me Strength is not about muscle or "perfect" brain, strength and inner peace really came from within. In the end, some of the greatest pain became the greatest strength. Have faith in your dreams and go for it, the rest will follow and unfold itself as you go on.
How do you cope with having an invisible illness?
Since the beginning, spirituality, meditation, and my cats have helped me to cope with my invisible injury big time! Ever since 2012, in addition, both neurofeedback treatments and creating art/paintings played a big role in helping me to cope with my conditions. My cats are my best friends and my life-support. They stayed with me regardless of what condition I had, with the absence of judgement. Their unconditional love, company, and loyalty to me gave me lots of strength, support, comfort, and growth. They taught me to be myself and to accept myself exactly the way I am. Spirituality changed my outlook towards life positively, helped me to realize life has bigger and deeper meanings, and showed me that my injury is only a spiritual learning experience to expand my consciousness. Meditation gave me inner peace, higher knowledge, and the wisdom to accept what happened, instead of victimizing me with guilt, shame, and resentment. Through channelling & meditations, I learned a lot about life, reality, and spiritual philosophy. It deepens the connection I have with the greater Universe. I am channelling every time I paint my art. Personally, I do see “Art” as “Spirituality”. Art is the expression of my daily life. It is a safe place for me to express my deep feelings & inner thoughts. It reminds me of the connection between mind, body, & spirit/soul, and it reminds me of my connection & relationship with the whole Universe. Without positive thinking, positive attitude and positive lookout, I cannot imagine how anyone would be able to cope with their visible or invisible disability!
Why did you choose watercolors as your medium of expression?
I love using watercolour. I believe water has memories and it can be used as a communication tool to transfer frequencies, vibrations, memories & information. I always blessed my water with love before I blend them with my watercolours for my paintings. I believe this positive intention will enhance the art to express itself better, and therefore could allow the art viewer the maximum benefits in getting spiritual inspiration, awakening ideas and motivation to change for better. Besides, I truly love my 3 cats, therefore I need to choose a medium that is very pet-friendly and will not cause them any harm in any way (particularly ingestion or fur contact). Watercolour became the most perfect choice.
What inspires you to create such work?
Inspirations for my artworks come from the natural beauty of planet Earth, nature of all seasons, and every life form from Creation, microorganism, the magnificent cosmos, and our spectacular Universe.
What is your favorite color scheme to use?
I enjoy using vibrant colours, rainbow colours in particular. I believe colours are frequency, and this energy vibrates harmoniously with our natural vibrations of our true core self. It has healing power. So it has influence to our conscious and subconscious mind.
What are your future plans?
I have no future plans really…because I can only handle one day at a time. So, I just do my best to stay in the present moment. I do fantasize that I will have my own art exhibition around the world one day – to share my stories and my art. I would like to teach people what brain-injury survivors can achieve and to let other survivors be proud, be inspired, and get motivated to excel and reach their potential. I guess I wish I could do something to give other survivors hope and fuel their inner fire for continuing on bravely to conquer their battle. I believe ALL survivors and people with disability are warriors. We are still capable of doing great things for ourselves and the world. People with disability are not lesser or weaker – we are simply more unique and special! We are strong souls and great teachers.
Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Art has been very healing for me. If you have never tried art or using creativity as a form of home-based therapy, I highly encourage you to try it now! You don’t need to know how or to be good at it. You just need to do it. Let it be a fun game for your inner child to play! The point is to allow yourself to express and release “something” that needs to be out of your system – that needs to set you free! I gained a lot of self-worth, self-esteem, and confidence since I started painting. Nothing is impossible! Miracles happen to those who believe. Faith is the key to a universe full of blessings. You are way STRONGER than you can imagine. That’s why you have this life. Truly FORGIVE yourself for your disability or injury. Blame will not bring you any healing – only unconditional love and inner peace will. Be the biggest supporter of yourself. You deserve it. Take good care of yourself. You are good enough. Love, Light, and Strength to you all.
Feel free to check out my watercolour paintings and digital creations at my art page on Facebook anytime!