Introducing our exclusive art collection in collaboration with friend of Fy! and Social Media star Jay Beech. Working closely with talented Fy! artists Aley Wild, Poppy Crew & Doodle by Meg to bring his vision to life, Jay’s collection comprises of 20 art pieces each bursting with vibrancy & touching on an element of his story that spoke to each artist.
Jay says: “I truly cannot believe this collection is real. It’s deeply personal and for me overwhelmingly beautiful. I cannot thank Aley Wild, Poppy Crew & Doodle by Meg and the amazing team at Fy! enough for working with me to bring this to life. Sharing my story through these pieces feels so special because art has the power to inspire and move people in such a unique and bespoke way to the viewer, I hope they are able to bring others as much joy as they have brought me.”
Here, we chat to Jay and the Fy! artists to discover the inspiration behind the collection.
Behind The Designs
Known for his joyful dance videos and vintage style, Jay also wanted to shine a light on his neurodiversity through this collection. To kick things off, Jay caught up with Poppy, Meg & Aley to talk through the journey to his ADHD diagnosis and what he discovered along the way.
Like so many, the pandemic had a huge impact on Jay: “with each lockdown I noticed myself increasingly struggling with my focus and sensory sensitivity and by January 2021 I was completely unable to do even the most simple things, such as grocery shopping or taking a bus. I retreated, made excuses not to see friends and kept myself in my own environment that I could control.”
Poppy created her ‘Sensory Overload’ piece to portray how Jay was feeling at this time. She says “I tried to illustrate what it was like for Jay in a public space through the different sizes of people surrounding and overpowering, the busy-ness in the image, the smells, feeling smaller than everything around you, and trying to shut it all out but just finding it all too overwhelming.”
Initially as a distraction, Jay discovered TikTok and it quickly consumed all his time, eventually changing everything for the better. He says “I began creating content, falling in love with clothes and having fun with fashion. I also came across ADHD Tiktok. After hours of watching people share their experiences, I cried. Everything I was struggling to communicate was being validated by strangers online going through the same thing. The next day I called my doctor and a few months later I got my ADHD diagnosis”.
This chapter of Jay’s story inspired both Aley & Poppy’s artwork in the collection. Poppy says “‘my ‘Relearning’ piece is about releasing your brain post ADHD diagnosis, learning to be kinder to yourself in that process and taking it slowly, gently and figuring out how you work and how to make life a little easier.”
The relief of his diagnosis was slightly overshadowed however when Jay was made redundant the next day. “Great timing” he says. “I lost all my confidence and no longer felt capable in my career but thankfully I’m optimistic to a fault and often deflect difficult situations with humour. So I created the #HireJayBeech campaign, I knew my CV wasn’t going to get me hired, but maybe my TikTok would?”
Jay’s campaign video went viral on LinkedIn and soon he had 9 job offers on the table. He says “everything was looking up, I had clarity around my struggles, was self teaching coping mechanisms to get through sensory meltdowns and although the medication trials were rough (and I got made redundant again) I kept creating content, I stayed optimistic and just kept going. I overheard someone say ‘you can’t control what happens in life, but you can control how you react” and I clung onto that saying with my entire soul!’”
Meg was really inspired by Jay’s outlook. She says: “I really love this quote! I wanted to create a piece where the quote was the main focus”.
Fast forward two years and life now couldn’t be more different for Jay. Having bought his first home, become a full time content creator and proud pet parent to his little pup Milo, Jay is proof of the power of positivity and staying true to yourself.
Jay says “I’ve never felt more independent, confident and comfortable with myself, learning that I have ADHD and more recently learning I have Autism too, has really enabled me to understand and love myself in ways I never knew were possible, I truly couldn’t be more excited for my future. I’m doing what I love, creating content on social media. I’m constantly crying over how supportive everyone online is and couldn’t be happier with the online community I have.”
Shop the Fy! X Jay Beech Art Collection