Beautiful mum becomes sensational face artist despite three strokes which left her partially blind
A beautiful mum who suffering three stokes has become a sensational face artist despite being left partially BLIND.
Janine McCallum, 37, from Cumbernauld, Scotland, lost her sight after the three strokes – which cause a blockage in the brain – ravished her body.
The mum-of-one was left with no peripheral vision, memory loss and can no longer walk in a straight line after the strokes, also known as brain attacks, left her with no balance or coordination.
But in a bittersweet twist, Janine now thanks the strokes for unearthing her incredible hidden artistic talent.
The mum-of-one said: “Suffering three strokes has been completely life changing, in my case, for better and for worse.
“I’ve always been artistic but I would never have found the love or passion I have for my face art if I hadn’t had them.
“When I was recovering, I was bored on Instagram one day and saw some other people doing face art and I immediately fell in love with the idea.
“It was like fate, everything happens for a reason and now I’m using my gift to inspire others.
“Just because I’m a stroke victim, it doesn’t mean I’m going to give up and let the side effects take over my life.
“It can be challenging at times but I’m adapting, nothing can keep me away from my paint brush.”
The pub worker suddenly felt numbness in her feet which was followed by dizziness, loss of sight, memory and coordination.
Doctors thought Multiple Sclerosis was the cause before tests and scans revealed the life changing brain attacks.
Janine said: “My strokes are different to normal ones as they’re mini strokes and I never know when I’ve had one.
“It can be weeks later when I start seeing the symptoms which is really scary.
“I’m being tested again soon as things have got worse recently and doctors fear I may have had another one.
“The symptoms have made my art work harder, but I now use lots of mirrors to compensate for my lack of sight and I have to take my time.
“But I spend every free minute I can making new creations, it’s become my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Janine’s husband, Andy, 37, a claims specialist, and her 11-year-old son, Louis, are used to coming home and finding Janine looking unrecognisable.
Janine said: “I try to finish my makeup before they both get home, but now they don’t bat an eyelid when they come home to find my face covered in string.
“Andy has been extremely supportive and has even built me my own room to keep the mess contained.
“I know he worries sometimes about my health but I’m living life for today not tomorrow.”
Janine tragically lost both her mum, aged 29, and her grandma to a stroke but is determined not to let anything control her.
She said: “My mum passed away when I was just 10-years-old and one of my only memories of her is how fascinated I was watching her put on her makeup.
“I used to love to sit and watch her applying the beautiful colours to her eyes and lips – it captivated me.
“It was in the 80’s and the makeup invigorated my imagination, it was bright, different and bold.
“My grandma and grandad brought me up, my gran taught me to knit and make things, whilst my grandad was covered in tattoos which mesmerised me.
“All three have totally influenced my art work now and those memories inspired me and I like to express that through my makeup.”
Janine’s Instagram account, Toocutetohandle36, has now even attracted world renowned makeup artists including Val Garland, known for working with the likes of Lady Gaga and Alex Box, the creative director of Illamasqu makeup.
Janine said: “I can’t believe how in such a short space of time how well my makeup art is being conceived.
“I always try to create something original that conveys my current feelings and emotions.
“I like to use unusual textures to stimulate my mind like newspaper, wool and plaster of Paris.
“I’ve always been interested in art but would’ve never believed nine months ago I would be achieving what I am now.
“Thankfully, even though I’m so forgetful these days I can still remember how to paint.
“You only live once and I want to inspire others to not give up, find a passion and stick with it.”
Bernice Jones, Regional Director for the Stroke Association in the West Midlands said: “Every year, around 46,000 people in the UK have a mini stroke (also known as a TIA or transient ischaemic attack) for the first time.
“Urgently investigating and treating people who have a minor stroke could reduce their risk of having another stroke by 80%.
“Even though the symptoms may disappear, there might be damage to the brain, so you need to see a specialist.
“Although it’s one of the UK’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability, far too many people don’t understand it or ever think it’ll happen to them.
“Stroke occurs approximately 152,000 times a year in the UK; that’s one every 3 minutes and 27 seconds. But no two strokes are the same.
“Janine’s art work is incredible; it’s great to see that despite the effects of her mini strokes, she is determined to continue to do what she loves.
“We wish her all the luck in the future with her art work and recovery.”