Jessica Blinkhorn – Artist

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Jessica, here’s what you should know about Jessica…

Jessica Blinkhorn is unlike any other celebrated visual artist, performance artist, and creative writer.  A fiercely independent spirit inside a dependent body, she was born with spinal muscular atrophy which has left her in a wheelchair and without the use of most of her body.  Yet despite living with what many would consider disabilities, Jessica sees her life not in terms of results, but of opportunities.

“Life is conditional,” she says.  “You make the most with what you have.  You can opt-out of life and just be like, okay I’m going to settle, or you can just really go for what you want.  I believe life is a series of moments, and if you don’t reach out and grab yours, it’ll just be like a dust particle in the sun.  You’ll just see it shine in the distance and you’ll wonder why you didn’t just grab it when you had the chance.”

Although it’s impossible to ignore the obstacles Jessica has overcome, she says they no more define her than they do for anyone else.  She’s very comfortable in her own skin and seems to have a unique understanding that her success is a direct result of her contentment in the life she’s lived.  It’s a challenge for everyone.

“It takes a lot of strength to be who you are, to embrace your differences,” she says.  “And that’s what I want anyone to do.  Not just a woman who has a disability, but anyone – disabled, black, white, gay, straight, omnisexual.  Be who you are because you only have one life, you know?”

And though Jessica admits to having moments of sadness and frustration, her internal strength, faith, and determination always seem to help keep her going.  Because life is a series of moments in her eyes, there’s always an opportunity for each of us to persevere and make the most out of every situation, creating new moments, even when we think we can’t.

“I think that if you’re going to say ‘can’t,’ go to the mirror, and scream,” she says.  “Feel whatever it is you’re feeling, and then just wipe your face, put on some cool panties, brush your damn teeth, brush your hair, and go outside and make shit happen.”

The best places to contact Jessica are on Facebook or the site for her Grounded by Reality film.

Below is the video of Johnny interviewing Jessica.

Download audio MP3 file (Right-click and choose “Save Target As…” or “Save File As…”)

Download the transcript of this interview (PDF)


  1. CONGRATULATIONS for finding and championing the most truly BADASS person I have ever met in my life.

    Pam Longobardi
    Professor of Art and student of Jessica Blinkhorn

  2. Jess Hinshaw says:

    This girl kicks ass. She is afraid of NOTHING.

  3. And Jessica is an amazing artist, truly gifted. Her art work stands on its own as beautiful, mesmerizing work. It has been my pleasure to work with Jessica, and showcase her watercolors.

  4. Donna Blinkhorn says:

    Jessica is a true badass. I should know, I am her mom. She has always been tough, smart and a go getter.

  5. Leigh says:

    I was only able to listen to a small portion of the interview (wonky connection today,) but as a TAB artist I wanted to say rock on! – I enjoyed your story.

  6. Leigh says:

    Thanks for the link!

    TAB is disabilities studies speak for ‘temporarily able bodied.’ Everyone will have their mobility limited at some point in their life weather through accident, surgery or just by getting old – TAB acknowledges this continuum.

    I’ve a background in the social history of medicine (war & disfigurement to be exact).

    Anyway, thank for creating this site — I look forward to following the bad ass project.

  7. Valerie Dibble says:

    Jessica is on my list of most admired people and her badass quality is a big part of that!!

  8. Phoebe Brown says:

    Jessica rock and rolls!!!
    It is such a privilege to know her and work creatively with her. Our little film “Grounded by Reality” is now playing in festivals across the country and hopefully inspiring people to think differently about how to face the challenges in their life. She is fearless and metaphorically kicks me in the ass every time I start to doubt myself.

  9. Michael Irving says:

    Jess, you have been a real inspiration in my life. My home is blessed with your work and always will be. You truly ARE that “hardcore bitch that will just roll over you” but you have the biggest heart!

    …You are a Badass and you have my vote.


    Jess is a real inspiration to everyone she meets… i had a pleasure of working for her she is a good boss and friend…. she’s a true Badass you have my vote

  11. Mia Tyler says:

    I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that Jessica is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is living proof that anyone can do anything. Besides being a badass artist and friend she is also a straight up all around badass. She’s one tough bitch and I value her friendship more than most! Love you lady!!! Hope you win, but even if you don’t just know you are a badass in my eyes always and forever!!!

  12. Patsi says:

    I’m trying to reach Jessica while I’m visiting this week in Atlanta. I do not Facebook. Please help me contact her.
    Patsi A.

  13. Jessica says:

    Am I still a Woman if my arms will not raise
    to capture your flesh and drink of your gaze?

    Am I still a Woman if my cleanliness is you
    and one should be one but now one is two?

    Am I still a Woman if I demand of haste
    for another to show and clear me of waste.

    Am I still a Woman if my feet are to ground
    as music is to silence as silence is to sound?

    Am I still a Woman if my legs will not wrap and my back will not bend to welcome a visitor, lover, or friend?

    Am I still a Woman if I am aware of whats not
    a life of “I do’s” and no tying of knot.

    Am I still a Woman if my womb will not swell
    from a bundle of joy and loves joyful spell?

    Will I still be a Woman when bearers are bound
    to read from my memories and bury the book below ground?

    I have always been a Woman, of this, I have no doubt.
    For only a Woman would open her soul and let her insecurities bleed out.

    By: Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn

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