Using Art To Express Emotions After Cancer
- Throat cancer survivor Val Kilmer, 63, continues to inspire us with his creative artwork and recently took to social media to promote one of his newest abstract prints.
- The artwork, titled “Abstract Print #1 [Series 4],” is being sold on Kilmer’s website for $500.
- Kilmer has turned to art to visual cope with the hard times that have accompanied his cancer battle, but he isn't the only cancer warrior who looked to art in dark moments during a health battle.
- You can find more survivor stories in SurvivorNetTV's Music and Art: Reflecting On Your Journey, an episode from our original series SN & You that shares cancer survivors' stories about the importance of music and art during their cancer journey.
The talented artist and actor, who starred in iconic films such as “Top Gun” and “The Doors,” continues to inspire us with his creative artwork and recently took to social media to promote one of his newest paintings, part of his Series 4 of limited edition abstract prints.Read More
The artwork, titled “Abstract Print #1 [Series 4],” is being sold on Kilmer’s website for $500.
Kilmer’s new 12×20-inch print, which includes the actor’s autograph on the front, is described as an “abstract print glazed with plexiglass.”
“This is the first of this new series [Series 4] of limited edition abstract prints,” his website explains.”These prints glazed with plexiglass, signed on the surface of the plexiglass. There will be four images in this series.”
“Rear mounted cleat for hanging included. Signature will vary from representative image. May take 1-2 weeks for delivery,” it adds.
“Due to the nature of the materials, some paintings will exhibit scratches, rust, oxidations, and/or uneven surfaces. These irregularities are all considered part of the artistic design by the artist and included in the unique wholeness of the art piece. Certificate of Authenticity included.”
Anyone looking to purchase some of Kilmer's artwork can do so by visiting his Val Kilmer website, which offers a wide array of large artwork, prints, paintings, and frames.
There are also creative gift options as well, like apparel, autographed photos, books and audio, mugs, and pillows.
Val Kilmer’s Battle With Cancer
Val Kilmer’s creative streak comes after he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015. He chose not to speak publicly about his battle with the disease until 2017.
Initially, he wasn't considering conventional treatment, thinking his Christian Science faith would heal the tumors. However, Kilmer ultimately agreed to undergo chemotherapy for the sake of his children Mercedes, 31, and Jack, 27, whom he had with his ex-wife, English actress Joanne Whalley, 61.
Kilmer also underwent a tracheotomy, a surgical procedure that connects the windpipe to a hole in the front of the neck, which greatly impacted his speaking voice.
Thankfully, Kilmer’s acting career carried on, as “Top Gun: Maverick” filmmakers were able to assist in giving Iceman a voice again with the help of artificial intelligence technology that used samples of him speaking to recreate his signature speech patterns.
Despite Kilmer choosing to keep his cancer journey quiet at first, he eventually shared more about his journey through interviews, his autobiography “I'm Your Huckleberry,” and his documentary, “Val,” which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
“I have been healed of cancer for over four years now, and there has never been any recurrence,” he wrote. “I am so grateful.”
Cancer Warriors Turning to Art Like Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer has turned to visual art to cope with the hard times that have accompanied his cancer battle, but he isn't the only cancer warrior who looked to art in dark moments during a health battle.
In addition to easing anxiety, creative outlets can also serve as a way for people to share everything they're feeling in order to cope.
In Kilmer’s case, he has been expressing himself through art all his life. In a blog post on his website, Kilmer writes, “My name is Val Kilmer. I’m an artist. I’ve lived a magical life. For more than half a century, I have been honing my art, no matter the medium.
“Be it literature, movies, poetry, painting, music, or tracking exotic and beautiful wildlife in the most remote African bush, to capture ephemeral moments with a camera, I yearn to express my creative spirit.”
With the loss of Kilmer’s voice, he admitted that his “creative juices were boiling over and pouring out of me.”
He continued while introducing Kamp Kilmer (an art community), “I started creating again, painting, writing anything I could. I felt the art healing me. I wanted to share this with others, and I started looking for a place to do so. I found a large studio in Hollywood.
“A fun sacred space where artists, musicians, muses, collectors, and friends could gather to celebrate creativity – and then the unthinkable, a global pandemic that pushed us all into our homes. You can't snuff out destiny. The story is far from over.”
Three-time cancer survivor Marianne Cuozzo also turned to art, like Kilmer, to express her emotions. Cuozzo was first diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 1994 at age 28 and experienced a reoccurrence in 1997.
Then, in 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy for treatment.
While battling cancer for nearly a decade, Cuozzo told SurvivorNet that she was able to cope during treatment by embracing her creative side and expressing her emotions through her art when she felt overwhelmed.
“I’d go in the studio, and I had these huge pieces of charcoal,” Cuozzo told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview.
“And I would do these really angry charcoal drawings, and I'd roll them up and stuff them under the couch. No one was meant to see them because it was just for me and, my cathartic getting out my angerâ€¦My artwork is very reflective of my cancer journey.”
You can find Cuozzo’s story, along with others in SurvivorNetTV's Music and Art: Reflecting On Your Journey, an episode from our original series SN & You that shares cancer survivors' stories about the importance of music and art during their cancer journey.
The Importance of Doing What You Love
While battling cancer, it can be tough to focus on anything except the treatment you're going through. However, studies have proven that patients who are able to maintain a positive outlook during treatment usually see better results.
Doing activities that bring you joy play a huge part in lifting spirits and improving your attitude and mindset. For those battling cancer, doing activities you love can sometimes bring some much-needed positivity into your day.
Whether it's a picnic with friends, hiking in the great outdoors, or sitting down with a paintbrush and canvas, it's so important to find those special pockets of joy.
Dr. Dana Chase, a gynecologic oncologist at Arizona Oncology, previously told SurvivorNet, “We know from good studies that emotional health is associated with survival, meaning better quality of life is associated with better outcomes.
“So working on your emotional health, your physical well-being, your social environment [and] your emotional well-being are important and can impact your survival. If that's related to what activities you do that bring you joy, then you should try to do more of those activities.”
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff