A woman who was born without a left hand is raising awareness for her condition by turning her stump into pop culture characters.
Artist Alexis Hillyard, 41, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, turns her stump into the likes of Winnie the Pooh, Batman, Wonder Woman and Stewie Griffin.
In total, Alexis estimates she has created around 40 characters to date – each of which she shares on her social media channels.
The 41-year-old said doctors are not sure why she was born without a left hand, but their guess is a condition called amniotic banding syndrome, where her arm did not get a chance to fully grow in the womb.
It was her younger sister, Ainsley, who was the inspiration behind the stump character creations.
When Ainsley was younger, she loved to play with her arm and treated Alexis’ stump as a character itself, calling it Bebe.
This evolved into turning Bebe into well-known characters, which Alexis first started doing when she was around four or five years old.
Each work takes around an hour from start to finish – though some can be a multi-day process.
A lot of time is also taken washing off the art products, Alexis said, as many stain her skin.
The 41-year-old has a list of around 100 characters she’d like to create, and by sharing videos of them on her TikTok and Instagram pages, Alexis has seen a number of loving comments and suggestions come flooding her way.
She said: “Most of my character ideas come from audience requests, as people love to see their ideas painted on my stump.
“But some definitely come from my own joy and excitement, characters that I just really want to see.
“The response has been overwhelmingly incredible.
“I have been sent dozens and dozens of pictures of adults and children alike with a limb difference who have created characters on their bodies, and they are just so happy and joyful to be able to share them with me.
“It is such an honor to be able to witness other people delighting in their diverse bodies in the ways that I do, it feels so powerful.
“Some parents have told me that their kids want to start painting their arms and creating characters like me after they’ve seen my videos, so it’s like it’s opened up this whole new world of relating to their limb difference in this new and beautiful way.”