14 May 2013

Ichthyosis Awareness Month: Emma Carolyn's story ~ "I wouldn't change having Ichthyosis, because it's who I am and it's made me unique."

When I put calls out for contributions to the Ichthyosis Awareness Month blog project, I asked people to tell me about their life as a whole - and I wanted to showcase some of the incredible talents that people have. Today Emma Carolyn shares her story with you, as well as some amazing pieces of art that she's created. You can see more of her art here.

"My name is Emma Carolyn Picken and I was born with Lamellar Ichthyosis. I am 19 years old and live in a small town in County Durham.

Challenges I've faced have been staring and bulling mostly through school. Although even one I'll go to the supermarket people will always stare, I'm not fussed about it compare to when I was little because I understand that I'm unique from everyone else and I do have a visual difference. The natural reaction is to stare, so I've learnt thing and learned not to get upset by it. With the bullying I found it hard at school but some people bully others with a visual difference because there afraid of not knowing and understand what I have. So sometimes it's a case of just educating people about it. But sometimes people are mean especially kids at school, but if you choose to ignore it and not react they'll soon get bored. So I survived school by ignoring them and concentrating in my school work and the friends I had, as they were also my support system at school.

I'm currently a college student and studying a BTEC extended diploma in Art and Design level 3, and hopefully going to university in 2014 to study either Fine Art or Illustration haven't made up my mind yet, as they both look amazing. My main hobbies are drawing and painting mostly with watercolour,I love drawing people as this is my most recent project for college I have been doing. I also enjoy working with watercolour in an abstract style. My inspirational artists has to be Antony Micallef and Ben Tour. I love a good book such as The Hunger Game series and The Twilight Series, team Edward all the way! I love going to meet with friends to go to the cinema or go to Redcar beach or just have a giggle, watch a movie and eat lads of ice-cream and chocolate. I love spending time with my cousins and sister, having movie nights and card nights which we have often and have a good giggle together. My main goal in life is to become a successful Freelance Illustrator and maybe move to America. As I've heard the food is so much better over there, and America seems so exciting. Im not sure which part of America yet, but Texas looks good. I also enjoy writing, as I have a very good imagination, and would love to illustrate and write my own book, for young adults. I also love a bit of poetry and have had one of my poems published in a book when i was 13 years old.


People always see my skin condition as a negative thing, and yes, sometimes it can be a pain in the bum and people don't understand but I wouldn't change it because it's who I am and it's made me unique. I wouldn't be the strong and understanding person that I am today without it."



This post is part of the Ichthyosis Awareness Month project. For all posts in this project, click here.

For Ichthyosis and appearance diversity resources, click here.



  1. Wow Emma your art is AMAZING! So wonderfully talented. I hope all your dreams come true!

  2. I love your work! What a talented and inspiring young lady.

  3. Hi Emma, I just love your art work, it is magnificent. You were truly born with a unique talent there. I could only dream of painting/drawing like you can. I did recently join an art group so am keen to learn. I want to paint cats. Take care, Love Pauline (Ichthyosis also)

  4. Thankyou for the lovely comments :3 much appreciated :D <3

    Emma Carolyn xx

  5. your art is amazing, Emma! Good luck with all your endeavours. xx


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