Illustration is everywhere ya’ll, even in places you wouldn’t suspect. For those with limited mobility, it affords them an opportunity to express themselves. Izzy Wheels is a shining example of this; they adorn wheel spokes with color and patterning to bring another dimension to otherwise ordinary chairs.
Created by Izzy and Aibhe, two sisters in Ireland, Izzy was born with a spinal condition called Spina Bifida. It left her paralyzed from the waist down. “Growing up,” they write, “it [had] always frustrated her how few options were available for her to personalize her wheelchair.”
While Aibhe was in her final year of art school, she created a solution to Izzy’s wheelchair woes. Aibhe produced eye-catching spoke guards for her sister’s chair to reflect her “bubbly personality.” The project eventually grew into a larger endeavor that aims to change the way we think about wheel chairs:
Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalizing their source of independence. We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self expression.
Izzy Wheels empower wheelchair users to make a statement about themselves, it makes a persons wheelchair into a friendly object rather than something purely functional. Having stylish wheels on your chair that match your outfit or show off you interests immediately addresses the chair and opens conversation. Our tag line is ‘If you can’t stand up, stand out!’
Now, Izzy Wheels offers a variety of colorful illustrated covers—many of them are by illustrators I’ve featured on Brown Paper Bag. The designs are beautiful, and it seems like it’d be hard to buy just one. Luckily, each of the discs are simple to install, so Izzy Wheel wearers can change them as often as their wardrobe.
Izzy Wheels uses illustration to add another dimension to wheelchairs. The colorful spoke guards allow wheelchair users the chance to express their personalities.
Izzy and Aibhe