This week, Samantha sits down with Lana Lechkina, a quilling artist and owner of Just Quill It. Lana was born in Russia and lived in a small town. Dentistry at that time was rudimentary and her first experience with a dentist was horrific and involved a drill and her cheek. A traumatic experience at this age has caused her to have anxiety around dentists even to this day.
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She explains that even now, when she visits a dentist, she understands that the stress associated with the visit has its complications. She metabolizes the anesthesia faster because of the stress and understands that it takes a little bit more for her, which causes her to be knocked out for a couple of days, at least. The smells, the environment, and all of the things associated with a dentist's office trigger her anxiety, no matter how logical she knows she can be.
So, for Lana, she likes to give herself small tasks. She counts the colors in a piece of art, or she will count the number of patterns on the wallpaper. This allows her to distract herself from what is happening and calms her down. She knows that she doesn't want to have the doctor talk to her, because that could possibly distract them from the work that they are doing in her mouth. She has tried all sorts of suggestions, but now understands that the best tool for her is to distract herself. Counting is her best tool. The dental assistants helping to redirect her attention is another great way for her to give a distraction.
Quilling is something that Lana picked up initially as a hobby. She didn't have the ability to draw or paint, but when it comes to creating intricate works of art with small strips of paper, she discovered a talent. Eventually, her friend convinced her to have an event for her art and it has turned into her full-time business. Then, about 3 years ago, her father was diagnosed with brain cancer. He lost the ability to do anything on his own, and it began a 33 month long journey that was very hard and ended with her not being able to be there during his final days because of COVID. Quilling calmed the stress associated with this situation, also.
For Lana, art is a way of escaping. It's about beauty and elegance, not just in art, but in life. If she can just help one person, just a little bit, she knows sharing her story will be worth it.