Hi Reddit, I am Alana. I am an artist born without the use of my hands. I paint using my mouth and my feet.

A post of my work was on the front page this morning

I woke up this morning with a lot of emails thanks to Reddit... Thank you all for the kind comments. I figured I would do a question and answer session with you guys.

My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/vJCMoHq.jpg - Just posted about this on my IG as well

I'm going to bed guys! It's late here. Ill try to answer remaining questions when I wake up in the morning. Thank you!!

Comments: 226 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

mugglequeen208 karma

I found you on Instagram, and I quickly became a huge fan of your work, especially your pet portraits. Is it possible to order a custom one from you? I looked around your website, and couldn't find info for that.

AlanaMouthFootArtist200 karma

I'm really happy to paint something custom for you. I enjoy doing pet portraits and find myself connected to animals. Most of the pieces on my website already have a home. Feel free to private message me your contact information here on reddit or you can email me directly [email protected] Thanks for the comment.

Andscott6742 karma

I second this question. How much would one cost? Also, based on my cursory browse of your website I couldn't find any prints for sale. Do you have them for sale somewhere else? I saw a mention of a site on IG but no luck there either. You're so talented!

AlanaMouthFootArtist75 karma

I do not really sell prints. I prefer only to work on originals. If there is something you are interested in on my website I would be happy to create something custom for you. Thanks for the compliment.

michiganRX82 karma

Wow what an inspiration! What advice do you have for young kids living with disabilities?

AlanaMouthFootArtist153 karma

That's a really good question. It's just so hard when you're a kid and you cant see past what your'e going through in the moment. I think when they learn discipline and practice things get easier. Sometimes it can be a day to day struggle or even an hourly struggle... focus on what is positive in life during that moment in time. No two struggles are exactly the same... but a positive perspective helps. I smile a lot and roll with the punches.

1L4ofDtGT6kpuWPMioz535 karma

This advice applies to every person, as everyone has struggles they sometimes can't see beyond.

AlanaMouthFootArtist29 karma

great point. agreed.

The_Jizzbot77 karma


AlanaMouthFootArtist48 karma

Thanks for the love.

icareaboutpotatos72 karma

Hi and thanks for doing the AMA.

The paintings posted yesterday were all amazing, top work. I couldnt help feeling as though they were also quite sad, especially the polaroid camera and nintendo ones. Am I interpreting them wrong or is this something you wanted to portray in these paintings?

Either way, the paintings are great, don't stop :)

AlanaMouthFootArtist87 karma

You are not interpreting them wrong: my art is intended to invoke what the viewer can gather from them. However, I was feeling nostalgic about my childhood which was a happy one... to me those paintings were indicative of that. Thank you for the question.

defenastrator52 karma

I am a tad confused you seem to have hands and they seem correctly formed. What is the issue that makes you unable to use them?

On a completely different note I'd love to see a larger sampling of your art.

AlanaMouthFootArtist65 karma

The disability is called Arthogyposis. That's the wikipedia version anyway. The jury is still out on if it's genetic or from environmental variables. I am a twin and my sister is not affected. I sometimes lean towards environmental issues based on this although I am not sure. As far as what part of me is affected my elbow joints are locked and there is a lack of muscular development. Thanks for the question. I will try to post some more pictures of my art soon.

sairyn19 karma

May I ask if all your joints are affected? Or just your elbows? Is it easier to paint with your mouth or feet? Your art work is awesome, I really like your style.

AlanaMouthFootArtist54 karma

Not all of my joints are affected. It is limited primarily to my arms.

It is a lot easier for me to paint with my mouth than my feet. I feel like I have more control using my jaw muscles. I use my teeth to bite down on the tool and my tongue to control the direction that I need the paint brush or pencil to go. - Thanks for the nice comment too.

ubmt186117 karma

I don't know why but when I saw the post last night I thought you just move your head around to draw/paint. Your description makes it even more impressive and inspiring. Where did you get your training? How long have you been doing art?

Edit: Just saw the answer to the Where did you get your training? below...

AlanaMouthFootArtist14 karma

I have been doing art since I was 5 years old.

groofop43 karma

Wait, if you have no use of your hands...how are you responding to these questions?

AlanaMouthFootArtist94 karma

I use my feet to text and type. (or voice commands)

groofop33 karma

You're so boss! One more question then; what is your typing speed in words per minute (WPM)? Thanks for answering by the way.

AlanaMouthFootArtist47 karma

Sorry can't tell you the exact the words per minute but not fast. I seem to get it done. ;) Take care

The-Respawner8 karma

How about a smartphone, if you have one, how do you type on that? Use your little toe very carefully or something? Or got an Android phone customised to be easier used?

AlanaMouthFootArtist41 karma

I use my toes when I am at home and out in public I try to use my voice commands. I use a basic android phone - it's not modified. I also drive a car - I steer with my feet. :) Thanks for the questions.

TheMapleSyrupMan39 karma

What was the largest struggle you have faced while pursuing painting?

AlanaMouthFootArtist74 karma

Staying motivated and inspired. Sometimes I'm not always inspired... sometimes the struggle for me is getting the paint out of the container onto the pallet. Sometimes when the art is forced it suffers in quality - when I am inspired the magic happens. Sometimes people ask me to paint some things I am not into... although when I force myself to do something I will sometimes gain inspiration along the way as I see things develop. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for the question.

silvaduarte26 karma

Hi! Artist/art student from SoCal here. I noticed in one of the photos that your sister posted that you use Liquitex Basic acrylics. Just curious if you stick to Liquitex brand (or the ever popular jars vs. tubes due to the consistency difference) or jump around given the amount of acrylics out there (heck, my art box has Liquitex, Golden, Nova Color)? Also, props to you with watercolor painting. I saw some on your IG feed and you do a great job of not muddying up colors (because that what watercolors like to do best sometimes). And lastly, thanks for volunteering your time with doing art therapy! :)

AlanaMouthFootArtist31 karma

Liquitex is affordable and I feel I get the same texture, viscosity, and pigment saturation as I would get with the more expensive stuff.

Positive comments from people like you help keep me motivated. Thank you.


First off - your paintings are really good! And not even in a condescending way, I'd be super impressed by a lot of them even if they were done by hand.

Who are some of your favorite artists? What is your process like? I imagine sketching out or even tracing an image is highly difficult for you and painting without any guides is brutal.

AlanaMouthFootArtist21 karma

Some of my favorite artists are Rothco, Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Goya. I also enjoy the masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Durer.

I just lightly paint an outline of the subject - when I do more abstract pieces I will lay out washes of color and layer them. I've adapted to my condition and painting is fairly routine now. Thanks for the question and the kind comment.

sandywich14315 karma

Have you taken any art classes or are you all self taught?

AlanaMouthFootArtist36 karma

I am self taught. I started painting at the age of 5 however I did take art courses to obtain an art degree. I attended Santa Rosa Junior College in California.

TofuGod14 karma

Hi! My girlfriend is an artist, and I want to get her a present that's related to her passion. She primarily works digitally, but I think she can do non-digital as well. Do you have any suggestions/neat ideas? What was something you received one time and really enjoyed?

AlanaMouthFootArtist23 karma

That's sweet. Maybe a pixlized picture of a subject that she likes or identifies with. As far as art I get jazzed about receiving paint brushes. Last Christmas I was given some really high quality brushes and really appreciated them. Hope this helps and you can find something nice for her. Thanks for the questions.

Assmouthorboth13 karma

Can I buy one of your painting? You are truly talented. I wish the world will get to see more of your art. Take care and God bless.

AlanaMouthFootArtist12 karma

First off thanks for the kind comment. I would be happy to create something special for you. Send me an email or a private message and we can discuss the details.

alittlegnome12 karma

Is your face constantly covered in paint? When I paint with my hands I'm always covered up to my elbows. :P

AlanaMouthFootArtist27 karma

I actually get paint in my mouth all the time. So yes. I do deal with that. :)

Printing_Stems10 karma

Your artwork is amazing! I used to live down the street from an incredibly talented artist named Paul Neufelder who didn't have use of his hands/feet and painted with his mouth like you do! I never knew there was more than one in the world who did it! Is there any sort of online community of people who do what you do? Have you ever gotten together with similar artists (in method, not necessarily style) to put together a gallery exhibition?

AlanaMouthFootArtist14 karma

Thank you for sharing about Paul. There is a community of people who paint like I do. MFPA - Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of America. They do have exhibitions like you describe through MFPA but I have not taken part in one. Thank you for the questions.

quaoarpower9 karma

What's your process for choosing mouth or foot?

AlanaMouthFootArtist14 karma

I usually use my mouth to paint. I use my feet like hands... I use them to get the paint out and mix the paint pallet.

velvetpinches9 karma

Where do you see yourself taking your art in the next few years? Who are your favorite artists and where do you draw your inspiration from?

AlanaMouthFootArtist13 karma

Thanks for asking. In the next few years I hope I will start to survive just off of my art - able to create everyday. The dream of a lot of us artists is to just "make it." To be able to do what we love. A lot of successful artists are not successful until they have died and I'm hoping to avoid that. Favorite artists include Rothco, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Goya, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Durer.

RoodyTabooty7 karma

When did you join reddit?:)

AlanaMouthFootArtist23 karma

About 4 hours ago. I first visited the site last night.

_N0S6 karma

Hey Alana! My Q: what did you eat last night?

AlanaMouthFootArtist15 karma

I made pork cutlets with garlic green beans and arugula salad. What did you eat?

helcol6 karma

The painting that you made are fantastic! What was your favorite reaction that someone had to them?

AlanaMouthFootArtist26 karma

All of the really kind comments were awesome. One of my favorite exchanges was actually a question here on this AMA. The question about advice for children with disabilities was a good chance for me to spread some knowledge from experience. I volunteer my time and do painting demonstrations with the Boys and Girls club. Sometimes they can be at risk kids - I try to be a role model as far as overcoming adversities... to show that they don't have to make excuses for the themselves. That in spite of circumstances and hardships there is a way to accomplish what they want. Thanks for taking the time to ask me a question.

el_monstruo6 karma

How did you get into painting (art)?

AlanaMouthFootArtist14 karma

I was living in a creative household. Had artists on both sides of my family. It felt like an obvious path to follow. My dad was an architect so he used to draw all the time. My older sister is an artist as well.

BootsAndButts6 karma

How does you daily routine sound like ?

AlanaMouthFootArtist20 karma

I usually wake up and make a breakfast shake. I watch a bit of TV. Around 10 I will stare at a cavas for a while. I'll get the paint out... I mix colors - then start with getting a bit of color on the canvas. Sometimes I don't know what I'm painting... it's like a warmup. I paint until around 2:30 - eat a late lunch usually. Then get back to painting - Ill stop painting around 6pm - then unwind with family - I enjoy going to my parents for dinner or sometimes just make it for myself. Tend to get to bed early maybe around 10. Sleep, Wakeup, Repeat. :) Thanks for the question.

Intrigued14235 karma

I've noticed that a lot of artists have trouble drawing feet. They draw the feet positioned so it looks like an after thought while the rest of the picture is incredible. How did you get over the issues of drawing feet?

AlanaMouthFootArtist13 karma

I never really had trouble drawing feet because when creating a figure I took into consideration the entire figure - looking at the balance of the entire composition. I did a lot figure drawing classes so learned a lot of tools such as stepping away to see the entire composition to keep proportion. Also gridding out the drawing. Thanks for the question.

unicorn_with_boobs4 karma

how long did it take to solidify your style?

AlanaMouthFootArtist8 karma

I would say years. I've learned a lot from my classmates in school. I browse pintrest and find stuff that inspires. All of my experiences have culminated into what I am and can do now. I started at 5 and I'm 33 now. So how about 28 years. ;)

Gigantor_Junior4 karma

Do you admire any artists, either historical or modern?

AlanaMouthFootArtist10 karma

Both historical and modern. I enjoy Rothco, Diebenkorn, Warhol, O'Keeffe, Picasso - I also enjoy Kahlo. Historically I enjoy Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Durer as well as others. Thank you for the question.

suzyqzy74 karma

Hey! Love your style! Do you mostly focus on painting or do you venture into like color pencil or Prisma Markers?

AlanaMouthFootArtist9 karma

I do have prisma markers and prisma pencils as well. However, I am primarily an acrylic painter. Thank you for taking the time to ask me a question. :)

mydogbuddha4 karma

First off I think you're amazingly talented and like your work. I see a kinda morbid dark theme behind some of your work, where does that stem from?

AlanaMouthFootArtist13 karma

Quite a few people see that in my art. I do not really intend for there to be a morbid angle. I have painted some zombies as a commission but they are not a reoccurring theme in my work. The bleeding people are seeing such as my Nintendo painting is an influence from street art. The dripping of the spray paint down the wall.

recoil6693 karma

I found the painting of the NES really interesting, could you comment on it at all?

AlanaMouthFootArtist8 karma

A friend of mine was born in the 80s and grew up playing the NES. He was looking for something nostalgic - he collects old game systems. That painting is the only video game related piece I have done. I have thought about doing a vintage video game character series but haven't got around to it.

Mr_Shav3 karma

Did anyone teach you how to paint with your condition? Also what is your favorite pizza topping?

AlanaMouthFootArtist12 karma

Self taught although I did go to school to get an art degree. Pizza topping: GARLIC! I love garlic... pizza aside I am a pretty decent cook... and I cook with a lot of garlic.

darls3 karma

Hi Alana, it's very inspirational to see someone overcome obstacles (whatever they may be) and pursue their goals/passions! From the front page post, I see that your topics are very pop culture oriented (zombies etc). Do you think your lack of use of hands has affected the subjects you choose to paint at all i.e. does it affect your artistic message? or is it pretty much beside the point, other than making painting uh a little more difficult!

AlanaMouthFootArtist6 karma

Both the zombies and video game stuff were commissioned pieces where I did not choose the subjects. I would say that not having the use of my hands does not inspire my art as much as people seem to think. I can understand how people might interpret it that way but no it's not intentionally woven into my pieces. Thanks for your question :)