You'd assume that blindness would stop an artist in their tracks and keep them from what they love doing, but when John Bramblitt lost his own sight in 2001 it was actually what sparked his career as a professional painter.
Prior to his blindness, Bramblitt studied at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he graduated with honours. But when he lost the last of his vision 13 years ago due to complications with epilepsy, his hopes of becoming a creative writing teacher were shattered and he sunk into a deep depression. He felt disconnected from family and friends, alienated and alone.
But then something amazing happened – he discovered painting. He learned to distinguish between different coloured paints by feeling their textures with his fingers. He taught himself how to paint using raised lines to help him find his way around the canvas, and through something called Haptic Visualisation, which enables him to "see" his subjects through touch. He now paints amazingly lifelike portraits of people he's never seen – including his own wife and son.
Today, Bramblitt's art has been sold in over 20 countries and he has appeared internationally in some of the world's largest print and broadcast media. He's the subject of the award-winning documentary shorts Line of Sight and Bramblitt. And he even runs workshops that are unique in the art world in that they not only span the gap between beginner and professional artists, but also include adaptive techniques for people with disabilities. According to John, “Everyone has an artist somewhere in them; sometimes they just need a little help letting it out.”
Make sure you watch the video below to discover more about Bramblitt's journey. Or visit his website where you can purchase one of his amazing artworks.
Via My Modern Met