Five Things You Didn’t Know about Mindy Alper

Mindy Alper is an artist of some note who has channeled her emotional, mental, and other forms of struggle into the creation of thousands and thousands of works of art. Recently, she was the subject of a short documentary called Heaven Is a Traffic Jam On the 405, which is called thus because it starts with her waiting in a content manner while stuck in a traffic jam.

Here are five things that you may or may not have known about Mindy Alper:

She Says that She Was a Strange Child

In a 1992 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Alper stated that she was a strange child. According to her, she struggled to learn new things. Even worse, she could not stand to be touched, which contributed to her other problems. At one point in time, Alper was diagnosed with autism by one of her doctors, but even now, she remains uncertain that was the source of her problems.

She Found Refuge in Art

A lot of artists start early, but in Alper’s case, she started drawing at the age of one. For her, it is more a need than a want in the sense that if she doesn’t draw, she enters into a much more anxious state of mind. She has stated that art was a refuge for her as a child, being a place that was full of possibilities but at the same time, a place where no one would get mad at her for whatever reason. Even now, art remains the one place where Alper feels the safest, which speaks volumes about the sheer extent of her connection to her chosen field.

She Has Been Forced to Use Her Art to Communicate from Time to Time

In 1986, Alper suffered a serious breakdown, which was so bad that she could not either speak or write. As a result, she was forced to use her drawings as a way of communicating with not just her friends but also the therapists who were seeking to help her. Eventually, Alper managed to regain the ability to speak with the assistance of a hypnotist, but she has continued to suffer occasional episodes that see her robbed of speech, which tend to be caused by a traumatic event of some sort. As a result, Alper has continued to use her drawings as well as other unorthodox means to continue communicating in spite of the challenges that face her.

She Loves Learning

With that said, even though Alper struggled with learning as a child, she has shown a remarkable interest in learning new things. For proof, look no further than the sheer number of art-forms that she has studied with various people over the course of decades. Technically, she was self-taught when it comes to drawing, but she has also studied the discipline in addition to painting, puppetry, sculpting, and more with a wide range of people. The fact that Alper is continuing to learn about art is once more testament to her passion for it.

She Is Very Honest in the New Documentary

Frank Stiefel, who directed the short documentary called Heaven Is a Traffic Jam On the 405, has stated that Alper is one of the most honest people that he knows. According to him, this was because she responded to his questions without thinking about how her responses would shape the impression that other people would have of her, which is not something that can be said for most people. However, Alper responded with her characteristic humor by stating that her honesty could be attributed to Stiefel’s “diabolical gift” for giving other people no choice but to tell the truth.


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