Connect
To Top

Life and Work with Jailyne España

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jailyne España.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jailyne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a stage four cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma stage four a few months before my high school graduation in 2016. I’ve been pursuing music as a trumpet player since 2011 so my plans was to study Music Education in college. I was able to attend the University of Rio Grande Valley for about three weeks until I received the devastating news that the chemotherapy I was currently on wasn’t working on me anymore, so my tumor grew a few mms. I was told by my doctors that I needed a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible, however in South Texas there isn’t any hospitals with a BMT unit, the closest one being San Antonio or Houston. I left for Houston on November of 2016 and waited for my approval for Texas Children’s Hospital, given that I was already 18 years old.

In February of 2017, after almost three months with no treatment, I got accepted to TCH and immediately admitted since my body started to swell up and it became hard to breath. Turns out my tumor had grown even bigger than when I was diagnosed and it was obstructing my airway and blood flow from the brain. After many complications, several rounds of chemo, and radiation, my body couldn’t take any more treatment so I relapsed again. I had to have an emergency bone marrow transplant on July 7th, 2017 with the tumor still active. The BMT took a very heavy toll on my already damaged body, I almost lost several toes but were saved with skin grafts, I had a clot on my left arm, my reproductive system got severely damaged, my stomach became intolerant for certain things, I lost eyesight for a few days, I had slight amnesia (which I’m still dealing with to this day) and I contracted a fungus which then went into my lungs; I’m still in treatment for fungal pneumonia.

Having my body undergo massive changes, I was advised by my doctors to stop playing trumpet until my lungs heal, which I did and instead started to pursue art. Art became a form of therapy at the time for an angry, damaged, and lonely 19 years old. I have always loved art so to me I was just pursuing my second love. I enrolled at the University of Houston in 2018 to keep me occupied from undesired thoughts and I started as a BA. Today in 2020, I’m in remission from cancer, a junior in college going for a BFA, still treating the aftermath of treatment, getting in shows and galleries, and overall enjoying my second chance at life. There’s no possibility of picking up trumpet again in the near future, but I’m thankful that I’m still doing something I love.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Because of constant hospital visits, It hasn’t been a smooth road for me. Sometimes I have to force my body to complete a commission or a piece because I’m always in physically in pain. But when you love something long enough, you will push through it to see it complete. My advice for young female artist is to push through, whether it being an illness, personal problems, or obstacles in this male-dominated society. Trust the process!

Please tell us more about your art.
I take inspiration mainly from the human body and the decaying anatomy. I’m interested in portraying people, objects, etc., as I saw myself in the hospital bed. I also take inspiration from horror films and pop culture. As an art student and previously self-taught artist, I’m still trying to find my preferred medium, I do however specialize in painting. I always try to bring my cancer experience into my paintings or other works of art; I’m showing art from a survivor’s perspective.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
The biggest barrier today to female leadership is the current political climate where our own president shows is okay to belittle and ignore the contributions women attribute to society. We create art but it’s often seen as “feminist” work for the simple fact that it was created by a woman. In this male-dominated art world, people choose to acknowledge art created by man, what can be considered the “greats”, and when it comes to art created by women they say “oh, well it’s not a Caravaggio but…” “It’s no Picasso, but…”. Women’s art needs to be acknowledged as its own and recognize that not all art is feminist art. Artists as myself are trying to find our own voice in the art world and lead for future generations.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Houston’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in Houston has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    Local StoriesNovember 30, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesNovember 29, 2021
  • The Folks Solving The Problems You Need Solved

    One of the most important benefits of a thriving small business ecosystem is the myriad of problems and niche issues that...

    Local StoriesOctober 31, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 4

    Voyage is excited to present episode 4 of The Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories show with our wonderful host and sales expert...

    Local StoriesOctober 3, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 4

    You are going to love our next episode where Whitley interviews the incredibly successful, articulate and inspiring Monica Stockhausen. If you...

    Whitley PorterSeptember 1, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 3

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesAugust 25, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesAugust 19, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesJuly 22, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 2

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesJuly 21, 2021