Hitchin’s inspirational Lauren set to make an impact in art world for charity
- Credit: Archant
A brave Hitchin schoolgirl on the autism spectrum who has her heart set on becoming an artist is overcoming her fears of being with strangers by painting in front of thousands of visitors at a prestigious art fair in London’s East End.
Lauren Asad, who goes by the name Defined by Art, is set to appear at a live paint event as part of the Grid Art Fair in Brick Lane – with all proceeds Lauren raises going to Angels Support Group that aims to provide families of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The 15-year-old – who has auditory and information processing disorder, language delays, social anxiety, sensory processing and phobic disorders – also freezes when frightened and has panic attacks.
But she’s facing up to her fears by painting live at the event which is expected to be attended by thousands at The Old Truman Brewery from Thursday, October 27, to Sunday, October 30.
Inspirational Lauren told the Comet: “I’m facing some of my worst nightmares by painting live at a large London exhibition. I’ll paint in front of thousands of visitors along with exhibiting artists from all over the world.
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“I won’t pretend I’m confident, I’m terrified! I can’t speak to people I don’t know. I just freeze and words don’t come out.
“Sensitivity to noise, crowds, chaos, lights, smells, are all intensified when I’m anxious. I’ll probably have to deal with a panic attack or two. The Grid Art Fair is helping me to support a great charity.
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“To be honest there are some things I can’t do and some things I need support with and some things I’ll never be able to do and some things I’ll always need help with – but when I can I will and I do put myself under pressure to be independent. I hope to show that to every child who ever doubted themselves.
“I’ve spent too many days crying because I didn’t ever get achievement certificates in school, but I’ve realised I can achieve things in different ways.
“I love art – being an artist is all I’ve ever wanted to do – and I’m trying my best to achieve my dreams and overcome my own challenges to make it happen.”
Lauren’s mum Jacqui added: “I’m so proud of her.”