Jamie Blicher, 36, of Rockville, is an artist and founder of Glitter Enthusiast, a local art company that sells in vitro fertilization needle paintings and offers support to women going through fertility procedures.
When did you start doing art with IVF needles?
My husband and I came back to this area in 2015. I went through basically every fertility testing procedure you can have. It was a really hard, dark time. We moved here hoping to jump right in with everyone else who was having kids. When that dream wasn’t happening for us and we started with Shady Grove Fertility, I was painting constantly. It just made me feel good again, it gave me control. When I was going through my tools one day, I saw my IVF needles, because I kept them in the same location. And I said: “I wonder what it would look like if I put ink in the needle?”
It was this magical, life-changing thing, because it’s using a tool that caused so much hardship and emotional and physical pain. Using it to create something beautiful under my control was a really eye-opening and fulfilling thing for me.
I started sharing my work on Instagram and the world opened up. It was crazy. Now we’re at 5,200 followers. People are coming in left and right and sharing their stories, normalizing the conversation of IVF.
How did you feel the first time you painted with IVF needles?
I painted for hours and hours. The emotional release for me was so amazing. It gave me something to look forward to the next day when I was having a lot of trouble looking forward to anything.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done?
I call it “Community of Kindness,” and it has all these really bright colors. The story behind it is that I was going through a complicated fertility procedure and up all night, worrying and stressing out. At about 4 a..m., I went down to my studio and just painted for hours and painted in the colors that made me happy.
Painting it really helped me emotionally, but I call it “Community of Kindness” because it was really an ode to all the other families that have been going through fertility, that have been so active with me on social media and have really helped normalize all of this with me.
How does being Jewish influence your work?
It has brought about this huge community of parents who have gone through the same things. Most of my commissions are through Jewish families’ homes in the area and when I go to places like synagogue, people recognize the work and it makes me feel a stronger sense of bonding with them.
What has been the general response to this art form?
The response has been wonderful. We did a Pike & Rose pop-up market. It was right as things were opening back up. Throughout quarantine, all of these new followers and people we’ve met, we got to meet in-person with masks on. It was really special and people cried and people were telling us their stories about infertility. The response has just been so uplifting, warm, inclusive, special and, for me, very motivational and very inspiring.
Why is painting in this way important to you?
Painting in this way is important as an emotional release and as a message to others that it’s going to be OK. Thankfully, IVF finally worked for me. My twins just turned 3 years old, their names are Ethan and Bennett and they are amazing.
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