After Accident, Artist Learns to Paint with Her Mouth

Stefan Doyno
Katie's Take
After Accident, Artist Learns to Paint with Her Mouth

Mariam Pare had dreams of being an artist since she was a little girl.

An accidental shooting left Mariam, 37, a quadriplegic and took her motor skills away. But Mariam's dreams could not be crushed.

"I learned that I could write my name by holding a pen in my mouth and I figured I could use this technique to paint with, and I just practiced and taught myself to paint using my mouth," said the Chicago resident.

"How hard was that?" Katie asked.

"It was really hard and frustrating," Mariam answered, but as time went on she got better at it.

After attending an artist convention, she learned about an organization, Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, which helps members make a career out of their passion. She met a painter who also used his mouth to paint. The man encouraged Mariam to apply. She put together a portfolio of her work, and 4 months later, was accepted into the program.

"I was accepted as a student member and scholarship recipient," said Mariam who paints in various mediums including watercolors and oils.

Katie also spoke with foot and mouth artist Tom Yendell to discuss the organization.

"Mariam said she had to apply," Katie said, "So it's not like anyone can join, right?"

"Not really," Tom said. "The student artists need to get to a standard where we can see that they're artists and that they can paint."

To learn more about organization, visit to check out some of the art.