A MUM who discovered she was suffering from a crippling condition as she and her children were left homeless has tapped into her artistic talent to transform her fortunes.
Liann Lindsay and her three eldest children were being helped by a refuge six years ago following the collpase of her marriage when she became so ill with stress she was admitted to hospital.
There, she was diagnosed with musculoskeletal chronic pain and osteoporosis, which has left her on 28 tablets a day and liquid morphine to cope with the discomfort.
She has since set out on a career as an artist after a craft session with her daughter Daisy Barrett, now 12, inspired her to use her skills.
Now Liann, 36, who is also mum to Joshua Barrettt, 15, William Barrett, nine, and one-year-old Harmony Lodge, has launched her own business, LoveArt.
She is working from a studio from her home in Houghton Road, Houghton, which has been created in the former games room of her partner Damon Lodge, 31.
Looking back now, it’s amazing, the way art helps is absolutely immense and I want to give something back.Liann Lindsay
Liann, who has to wear splints, said: “I was sat drawing with Daisy and she said ‘That’s good, you should go to college’ and the prospectus for Shiney Row college came through the door and I saw it as a sign.
“I went there and did a foundation degree and then to Sunderland University to study fine art.
“Then I found out I was pregnant and had a really bad pregnancy, so I had to stop.
“All my bones hurt and I had to come off the painkillers and I had to be induced at 36 weeks.
“I was six months away from finishing my degree and I was devastated, and I was looking at the tutors about working from home, but it just wasn’t possible.”
While Liann hopes to return to her studies one day, she is channelling her efforts into her new venture and studio, sparked after a Christmas decoration she made gathered 4,000 likes on Facebook.
It will be launched on Sunday at the Hetton Centre from 1pm to 4pm, with all welcome.
She is working on commissions from fans, who follow her work through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with her sugar skull collage made from buttons winning the praise of television presenter Kirstie Allsopp.
“Daisy is really proud and William calls me Mammy Scissorhands, “ she added.
“Damon has been so supportive as well, I couldn’t have done it without him.”
She also aims to launch sessions for people with mental health problems and has also been asked to become the artist in residence at Rainton Nature Reserve.
Liann added: “Looking back now, it’s amazing, the way art helps is absolutely immense and I want to give something back.
“People can come along and have a coffee, make some madness and have a chat, it takes their mind off things.
“At the end, when they come and show me what they’ve done, that’s what I love, to see it in their face.
“For me, it takes me away from the pain, and to be called disabled, people think you’re a write off, but I’m not written off yet.”