Thoughts on being a colorblind artist

Lord, ain’t this the truth…

Yep, this is pretty much how it is. All the time. With everyone. 

My family has a bit of a statistical oddity. All three of the children were born red-green color blind. Both of my brothers (of which I am the oldest by 13 years difference) and I have trouble seeing and differentiating shades of red and green. The problem is, since red and green are two-thirds of the base spectrum, that deficiency makes it extremely difficult for me to distinguish between brown and green, or blue and purple, and so on. I tried years ago to use so-called “colorblind corrective contacts,” but it basically was like walking around and constantly seeing the world through a pair of red and green-colored 3D glasses. Everything red and green was really freakin’ shiny and goofy-lookin’. Lord almighty, though, I could see a stoplight from 4 miles away.

It’s not a life-altering condition, obviously, but it damn sure makes it fun trying to dress my kid in the mornings.

Or paint. Or design.

Yeah, I know. I picked a hell of a field to get into, eh? Well, they told me I couldn’t be a fighter pilot if I couldn’t tell the warning lights apart. So hey, art seemed like a good second choice.

The thing is, though, I’ve known since I was about 9 years old that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My first fledgling attempts to draw were done by painstakingly copying  panels from my favorite comics, or drawing my favorite cartoon characters. They sucked, of course, but the feeling of accomplishment I got from successfully finishing a piece drove me to do more. And more. And more. I got into design the same way, by hopping on my school’s newspaper as a freshman. All that typesetting, cutting and pasting was tedious, but being able to see my friends and peers walking around with a finished product in their hands (THAT I CREATED!!!) was such a rush. Didn’t take long after that until I was doing part-time work for the local newspaper.

My point, I suppose, is that NOTHING can keep you from doing what you want to do. Well, except for you. If you have a talent or skill that’s laying fallow, I bet money that it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Get off your butt. Work at it. Become the absolute best you can be at it. You’ll never be as good as some people. You’ll be infinitely better than other people. That’s just life. But you do yourself a disservice if you don’t try to live up to your full potential. You’ll get depressed (I do, an awful lot), you’ll get discouraged (I do, a metric shit-ton), but you’ve got to keep raising your head high and moving forward. I don’t make much money as an artist, but it makes me happy, it keeps me somewhat sane, and it keeps my mind open to the world around me. I know I’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m gonna keep plugging away, because I’m going to be the best I can.

You can, too.

If you have doubts, just remember again that you’re reading the words of a colorblind artist.

Thanks for reading.


P.S. Here’s an interesting site about colorblindness, if you’re interested. We are Colorblind.

One thought on “Thoughts on being a colorblind artist

  1. Awwww……I love this post! I am so inspired! Let me just say that you get by just fine and I LOVE that you are a colorblind artist….just shows everyone how bad ass you are! I wish I could write my thoughts as well as you do!

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