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About Varied / Hobbyist Premium Member Sarah Vafidis20/Female/Australia Group :icongothibis: Gothibis
Addicted to darkness?
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Yes that's me with Tim Burton <3

I entered a short stop motion film I created into a competition at ACMI in 2010. I was one of seven Australians who won. The prize was to be a tour guide at his exhibition in ACMI and to spend time with Tim Burton. It was the best day of my life, and I gave him two of my plushies as a gift for his kids. He loved them! I am very proud to have met the person I idolise most, and it inspires me to finish my novel and get it on the big screen asap!

Watch my audition (stop motion) film below:

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Aug 21, 2014
3:42 pm
Aug 20, 2014
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Aug 19, 2014
9:36 pm
Aug 18, 2014
9:40 pm
Aug 16, 2014
6:59 am


Sarah-Vafidis's Profile Picture
Sarah Vafidis
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
My name is Sarah Vafidis. I am 20 years old, and live on a farm in South-West Victoria, Australia.

I draw when my hands work, so I often take photos when they don't. I love writing stories and hope to be published in the near future. I am quite proud that I can create art in a variety of mediums and I have a lot of fun doing so. My main photography subjects are ball joint dolls, my horses, and other odds and sods that catch my eye.

I have Chronic Lyme Disease and many associated illnesses because of it. I can potter around the house on good days, but require my wheelchair for everything else. Art has been the best thing and it has been a life saver. My art and photography themes come from an honest place and it means the world to me. I hope you find something here that you enjoy!

Due to the fact I am ill, I cannot reply to all the lovely comments and favourites. I do read every single one of them and I thank you all dearly!

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Happy 14th birthday, deviantART!  I am so happy you are still growing up to be even better each year.  I hope you like my deviantART history as your present!  Here we go...

I joined dA on December 16th 2007.  Back then I was a struggling kid who used art to cope with my life.  (Nothing's changed right lol?  Wrong.  Everything has honestly changed.)  I didn't know who I was as an artist, but I felt the dA community and my group of friends at the time helped me grow.

Sorry if this makes me look like a dick, but I will only be featuring my work today as a sort of illustrated story.

This was the first deviation I ever posted:

The Burnt Out Light by Sarah-Vafidis

I drew a candle that was all waxy and melted and had skulls and hearts and "magic" coming out through the smoke, but even I back then didn't think that was worthy to be on a site which had many talented people!!  I think it is wonderful that I was even using hearts subconsciously in my art right from the start.  I didn't know the events in coming years would revolve so heavily around this complicated organ. :heart:

The reason I loved dA so much already is my health was on a rapid decline and I was undiagnosed.  Nobody could work me out.  I was missing a lot of school and increasingly felt totally disconnected with my friends.  dA provided a chance to have global friends and that alone was amazing. 

This was my first journal entry:
First entry!Uh.... I dont know what to say?!? (which was a big deal for me, I still found using the internet hard HAHA)  Oh, and the fact I was using dial up really reinforced why I didn't do much online...  But I loved dA so it was worth the few minutes it took to load a single page!

dA listened through countless journal rants after that.  (Reading these now is like opening a time capsule of pain and suffering.  It's quite overwhelming actually, but I'll see it through.)

diagnosis??I HATE DOCTORS!!!
just thought i'd put that out first.
for almost 2 and a half years ive been sick blah blah blah. not going into detail but a doctor caused it all to happen... STUPID SURGEON! if i knew i would have to put up with this day in day out, i would never have agreed to have the stupid operation in the first place!!
they have 'diagnosed' me with the following possibilities...
1. some thing i cannot spell
2. something i cant remember
3. cells do not respond
4. base of brain has moved from spine
5. migrane
6. my fractured hip (many years ago) caused my spine to move
7. im hypermobile (am kinda that anyway)
8. im insane. its all in my head (pending)
9. hypersensitive
10. another thing i forgot
11. and yes, another thing i forgot and can't spell
things in bold are what has been semi-decided so far.
they have finally given me drugs, so that will help... IN LIKE A YEARS TIME
 You poor, poor girl.  If I could reach back through time and take you away from those two awful men, I would.  You have no idea, sweetie.  You were being lied to.  Every visit.  Every drug.  2 and a half years was false too.  If they knew what was going on inside your poor, little body, they'd know you had been suffering since the year 2000. 

"8. im insane. its all in my head (pending)" Quoted myself from that journal.  You poor, poor, sweet, baby.  The fact I had written that even back then makes me want to vomit.  I wish you ran away from those men.  Please, just leave. 

Buy The Vowels... by Sarah-Vafidis

I feel this is self explanatory.  It was a direct message to "those men" and although it seemed in an amused context, I assure you the angst behind that GET FUCKED was real and raw and deserved.

By 2008 I was (misdiagnosed) and the sad thing is that the misdiagnosis made sense.  There was nothing they could really do about it, but it at least put a label on things.

This quote from an early 2009 journal makes me giggle... "
never threaten to kill your doctor in a hospital... psyche ward was a insanely small step away..."  Is it wrong that I still fantasize about this?  I will never forget the day. 

It was a clinic day "there".  This means you are herded up in a small, sterile waiting room for six hours at best waiting to see the specialist that thinks he's God.  The plastic chairs were almost as bad as the wait.  So there I was waiting with a parent.  Some teenage girl was an inpatient and had just come out from seeing the doctor and was fuming.  Arms crossed.  Angry.  Refusing to move.  In all honesty I thought it was a bit pathetic and childish.  Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have gone back either.  But security was called and she put up one hell of a verbal fight.  She threatened to kill her doctor amongst other things and was sent back to the ward.  Being amused by the scene she caused, I quite liked the idea of killing your doctor and I imagined doing so to mine for the rest of the wait.  (Please keep in mind I am not nor are ever going to murder these men.  They have hurt me immensely and will continue to do so forever, so as I have to suffer, it's only fair they suffer too.  Imagination is amazing.  I'm so creative ;] )

I didn't really upload many drawings in 2009 as I was too ill and whatever I was actually drawing, I didn't want to share it, it was private.  It is quite alarming to read my retake of Hell and apart from leaving out the really harsh and sad bits, how I tell it pretty much remains the same.  14 year old me, I am so sorry.  We all are. 

HOSPITAL SUCKS - HOWEVER...well, i just got out of hospital... and i can officially say that was the worst 3 weeks of my life. i was getting treated for something i totally dont have. the doctors were gonna put me on heavy duty anti-psychotics............. BLOODY FUDGERS. i need to write this all down, my way of coping. so you can read or not, im warning you now though, could be lengthy and i am dead serious.
anyone in their right mind wouldnt put me on heavy duty anti-psychotics! how can they do that? they couldnt find a tumour in my brain but all the same symptoms remained, they were wrong, so now im insane? WHAT THE FUDGE. I HATE THE LOT OF THEM
i was lied to for 9 months. it explains everything now, his bias against Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. so far i know of only one friend who has it here too, Lisa. i am sure you share the same opinion as me, IT IS NOT IN OUR HEAD!!!!!
HOW THE FUDGE CAN I MAKE THIS ALL UP!!! why WOULD i make this all up. the pain i get is the worst i have ever felt. its the weakest ive eve

I don't think this will come as a surprise to anyone as I am sure I've talked about it before - I tried to kill myself during those three weeks off Hell.  I am not even shocked or upset about the attempt anymore, call it progress maybe?  This will sound strange but dying was definitely one of the more pleasant memories.  It doesn't hurt to remember standing behind the rail on that roof nearly as much as the other things, willingly or not.  I creep myself out at how little it bothers me actually.  The reasons why I tried bother me and the people who caused it and the place it all happened bother me.  These events result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and still to this day I can't shake it.  It's not something you "get over" but time is helping.  Each day I live gets me further away from them. 

As you can read in that journal, despite all the bad I still fought to be okay.  Finding positives in my art was the only way out.  The art therapist put the foundation down for my love of my characters.  They saved me during those three weeks and they continue to save me now.

SO!  Let's bring the mood back up shall we?

Around my birthday in 2009 I changed my image.  I didn't want to be associated with my old self anymore so did everything in my power to physically BE my art.  I dyed my hair black and red! 

ID 3 by Sarah-Vafidis

I was still dealing with the PTSD demons and trying to deal with my life.  I had started seeing some new doctors which was the best possible thing we did.  I apologise if this seems less and less art related as I go on, but art and life merges for me, to me, it is the same thing.  I cannot create art without my life and I cannot bear to live without my art. 

A Gothic Romance by Sarah-Vafidis

I created this though which I still adore.  It is very basic in the design but it is one of my favourite images I have drawn.  What's great is that it still is one of my favourites!  Usually I deem my art "old and shit".  While it is not the best piece in the world, it is rather cute and I love it.  It has the most comments of all my pieces with 234.  It is the most favourited piece with 274 favourites and until recently, it used to be my most viewed piece and now currently sits at 5,173 views.  I really do like the fact my favourite drawing seems to be everyone else's favourite too!

February 1st 2010 I announced to my dA friends that I was going in for heart surgery.  I am rather annoyed that I deleted a lot of journals I once again deemed old and shit, but my team of new doctors directed me to a cardiologist and he diagnosed my heart issue within 20 minutes of my first appointment.  Hindsight this was just a "bandaid" of the bigger illness picture, but words cannot explain how grateful I am for what my cardiologist did.  I love my pacemaker to death.

I bid farewell to my dA friends on February 24th 2010 (pacemaker surgery date on the 26th so I needed to take a break and rest) and I didn't return until the 8th March which seems like no big deal, but a life without dA is a boring one!!! 

Heart Surgery = Complete!! i &lt;3 my pacemakerThat's right. My heart surgery is all done, I have a new kind of pacemaker and the battery runs out in 14 YEARS! So I will be 30 by the time I need a new one! Anyway, I have my life back. Read on for gory details! ... haha
:heart:Thursday 25th Feb - the day before the procedure:
I was 150% shitting myself. Worrying, panicking, thinking too much, being to excited, worrying it wouldn't work, getting my hopes up, worrying that I have my hopes up too much, BLAH BLAH BLAH! I was shitting myself! Did not get much sleep that night. I hugged my plushie panda who I named Edgar Allan Panda (after Edgar Allan Poe) all night!
:heart:Friday 26th Feb - in the morning - 5.30 am:
Was woken up by Liam (who kindly spent the night with me so he could come to the hospital) and put my bag in the car. Then my mum, dad, Liam and myself got in the car and drove to the hospital. Still shitting myself! And still hugging Edgar Allan Panda!
:heart:Friday 26th Feb - at the hospital:
Checked in, got changed into th

This is the best way to describe the pacemaker ordeal.  Four severe years of fighting led me to this. 

My Pacemaker Scar by Sarah-Vafidis

My beautiful scar in all its disgusting, fresh glory.

My Pacemaker Xray by Sarah-Vafidis

This is what it looks like inside me.  The pacemaker has electrical wires running through my veins which screw into my heart.  This is how it gets "shocked" and starts "pacing" to keep my heart in a stable rhythm, yay! 

My Pacemaker - 2nd Birthday - 2012 by Sarah-Vafidis

And this is what it looks like outside my body!  I was given an exact replica as a fridge magnet which I think it the coolest thing ever!


As you know, art is life, life is art.  I had no other way to express my deepest thank you to my cardiologist.  He teared up when I gave this to him.

Post-Surgery by Sarah-Vafidis

It was a little chibi me holding a broken heart that has been put together.  The bandaid is ironic to me now as the pacemaker was a huge bandaid - but I do NOT regret it.  The pacemaker has been the best thing I've ever had.

The next few months of pacemaker life were spent drawing as I recovered, appointments to adjust the settings and just finally being happy that I could somewhat LIVE my life rather than just EXIST. 

In June 2010 the events leading up to the exhibition and actually being inside the exhibition all seem like a blur.  I created a stop motion film and entered it into a Tim Burton competition held by ACMI for young budding filmmakers... 

... And I won!  (That video may or may not work.  If not, please click here -> )

The prize was to be a tour guide in Tim Burton's exhibition and to meet and spend time with Tim himself!  It was the most amazing experience and the best day of my life by far.  Being sick and locked up inside my house, I really related to Tim's films.  He often uses "two worlds" as a theme in his stories and I had the world of being sick inside my house and longed to be in the world of the healthy outside.  I am so happy that I was given a year of health at least.  I was able to enjoy and participate in this incredibly amazing opportunity!  This is the most treasured photo I own of me and Mr. Burton. 

Tim Burton and I by Sarah-Vafidis

Speaking of idols, around this time my very first Ball Joint Doll I named Evia after the brand of my pacemaker Evia DR-T arrived!  This started a new hobby and opened up the photography side of dA for me.  I talked to many deviants about their cameras and gear and admired many doll photos.  I am still working on it, but I am at a skill level now where I can envision an idea and in a little while later be looking at it on my laptop, ready for cropping etc.  I love my BJDs and in the absence of being able to draw, I can take photos. 

My BJD posse 2014 by Sarah-Vafidis

I really got stuck into my writing around this time as I was completely overwhelmed with creativity.  The characters that were with me through Hell and stayed with me on that hospital roof deserved to have their story told properly.  They were given life through the stop motion film I created and I developed an even closer bond with them all, minus the evil ones.  Hatred grew stronger and writing my novel has been the best therapy I'd have ever hoped for.  You may read a little teaser chapter here if you like.

Whenever I get really sad, angry, emotionless, suicidal or any other negative emotion - I write.  I simply cannot write when I am happy because it doesn't make for good writing and it just seems fake. 

In 2011 I put together a portfolio of all my works and creations and I was accepted into a 3D animation college in the city.  This meant I could skip year 12 which was great as I wasn't well enough to study.  I was almost well enough to travel in to the city via train and tram, but unfortunately I was growing tired and a new medication sent me into a huge relapse and I was back in the wheelchair and bedbound for the next year on oxygen.  I had no choice but to quit college.  The staff were amazing and said I could return any time, but the chances of that were slim so I had to give up on that.  I did not have the use of my hands and they were all contorted into gross, painful shapes so I definitely did not get any drawing done.

My Name Is by Sarah-Vafidis

In 2012 we moved house and headed West to live on a little 26.5 acre property.  My health was on the decline and medications and the pacemaker didn't have the same, good effect it did in 2010.  We basically upped and left to have a nicer, cleaner life.  The farm sure is a great place to be sick in!  I have my horses and although I'm too sick to do much, I know they are there.

ONE MONTH after moving, I got test results that changed my life forever.  It put my whole life into perspective and made everything that has happened to me make sense. 

Diagnosed 2012. by Sarah-Vafidis

Unfortunately it isn't an easy road in ignorant Australia, so I won't get stuck into that here!  My art and the subliminal messages within it just gained 6,000 interesting points.  I have had so many creative twists in my writing because of the Lyme diagnosis and I can say I am churning out the chapters rapidly at the moment.  I am taking advantage of this because when it goes away, it can go away for a long time. 

We Will Conquer Them All by Sarah-Vafidis

This is what I choose to end this world record long journal with today.  My little life savers, Tif and Scarlett holding a Lyme green awareness ribbon.  I continue to raise awareness in my own ways and I hope one day my novel will be published so I can finally be at peace with my demons and expose those monsters of men for who they really are. 

I do apologise for this being so lengthy, but dA is such an important part of my life and has been a crucial tool for survival living with numerous illnesses and disorders - mostly all of which have been caused by Lyme Disease (Borreliosis).  I was infected in the year 2000 so it's had plenty of time to do its damage. 

I have made so many lifelong friends here, created my beloved S.T.A.B. M.E. characters, been through Hell and somewhat made it out, had heart surgery, met my idol Tim Burton, skipped year 12 on my art folio and went to animation college, relapsed, was finally diagnosed properly, moved to the other side of the state and deviantART has watched it all. 

There was a few years where dA was always open on my computer.  I honestly think I've only ever logged out about nine times!  Now with no broadband internet and still having sick days where I cannot look at or hold a laptop, I feel I have neglected my dA account and my friends, but the messages pile up so there's always something to do next time. 


Sorry if a lot of that doesn't make much sense, I can't trust my fatigued brain at the moment.  I also just spent the past two hours writing this so it probably gets worse as it goes on. 

What a mammoth of a journal.  I appreciate your exhausted brain cells lol.

Do you have Instagram? 

18 deviants said No
11 deviants said Yes


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Add a Comment:
Otherra Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014   Traditional Artist
:D Thanks much for the favourite!
Ari-Heart-Matsuri Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fav!
Sarah-Vafidis Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!
Ari-Heart-Matsuri Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
suprgrl1995 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the Favorite!
nalanilover Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, just wanted to check to see how your doctor appointment went the other day and make sure youre doing alright, reply when you get the chance.
Sarah-Vafidis Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw thank you!  A new problem has surfaced so we need to figure this out ASAP or I'm in big trouble :( How are you?  Been riding this week?
nalanilover Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my.... You need to ve okay, you gotta pull through, i will cry my eyes out if somethung happens tkpo you, but i know youll be with God.

im good, i havent ridden in two weeks going on 3 next monday, vacation the first mobsay, canceled this monday cause the heat (they akso canceled the one i was gone for) and more vacation on this monday but my dad said itll brpe hot anyway so it may get canceled too.
Sarah-Vafidis Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So strange hearing about heat lol, seems so long ago! We don't really do much with the horses down here in winter, too muddy and cold to be able to do much haha. When daylight saving comes back we get more freedom!
(1 Reply)
nalanilover Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey! Just wanted to make sure youre doing alright! Qhen you get time im still waiting for you to accept my skype friend request :XD:
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