FARGO – Chelsea Burns’ perspective on life changed in 2010 when she was diagnosed with a rare autonomic nervous system disease called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
“Having to live your life differently because you’re ‘sick’ alters a person. I don’t think my disease defines me, but I do think that it has changed me for the better,” the 30-year-old Fargo woman says.
Burns took her life-changing diagnosis as a “wake-up call” and quit her job to focus on her artwork full time, launching her Fargo-based company, Cho. Be. Art and Design.
She started small, doing paintings and mixed-media work, mostly on commission. Now, she sells greeting cards and art prints nationally and internationally through Etsy and locally at shops like The Studio in downtown Fargo.
She also does small-scale sculpture, jewelry design, Web, logo and print design, photography, and anything else that grabs her interest.
Burns uses her Instagram account, @chobeartdesign, to share her latest projects, new materials and host giveaways. She also posts the occasional selfie, travel photo and picture of her black-and-white Great Dane, Margot.
“My Instagram is full of stuff that I think is beautiful or funny – it’s hard for me not to find the humor in life,” she says. “I just try not to take life too seriously; it’s too short.”