JAY LIESENER is a member of the Rise Up artist community. When Jay was 17, in 1989, he was doing back flips on a friend’s trampoline, misjudged his landing and broke his neck at C4/5 vertebrae. It was just before his senior year of high school and he thought his opportunity to pursue a career in the arts was over. Following the initial hospital stay and rehab, Jay regrouped, found a new career path that he was passionate about, went to college and continued on with life. But, that need for creative release was always there, lurking in the periphery. In 2003, Jay had a computer controlled muscle stimulator implanted in his left hand and arm. This device gave him back some use of his left hand and a chance to try drawing again. He bought some pencils and a drawing pad, and although it was frustrating at first, there was slow progress. Jay was creating again, expressing ideas and emotions that were impossible to share through words. In 2005, a friend introduced Jay to a Wacom tablet. It was amazing! One of those life changing moments. Suddenly, he could work in any medium he wanted, zoom in to work on details, then zoom out to create long sweeping arcs, and work in layers. Jay was hooked and his pencils have been collecting dust ever since. The process is intensive and there are over 100 hours in each of Jay’s drawings and paintings. For Jay, art is therapy, a place where he can lose himself in a meditative place.