John Bramblitt is a famous painter who uses a mix of Impressionism and Pop art. Every painting is intensely personal and mostly taken from real people and events in his life. He has held 11+ exhibitions, sold art in over 120 countries, and painted five murals in New York and Dallas. He has featured in Print, TV, and Radio in – The New York Times, Psychology Today, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, ABC, NBC, FOX, Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio. John Bramblitt, the world’s No.1 blind painter.
John Bramblitt has authored the award-winning book, Shouting in the Dark. The book tells how he navigated through blindness to rekindle pleasure and passion through art. His life story is also on the reel in two documentaries – “Line of Sight’ and “Bramblitt.”
A peek into John Bramblitt
John Bramblitt was born in 1971 in El Paso, Texas, USA. He graduated with honors from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, with a dream to become a creative writing teacher. But in 2001, his dream came crashing down. Due to complications with epilepsy and Lyme’s disease, John lost his vision. He went into a deep depression until the day he discovered painting. He realized he could distinguish colors by feeling their textures and slowly began his tryst with art. Of course, before he could master an art, he had to master using the cane and braille. He eventually became more independent and began to use art as a medium of expression. He now paints amazingly lifelike portraits through haptic visualization that enables him to “see” his subjects through touch.
An Artist Par Excellence
John has been the subject of the Most Inspirational Video of 2008 for YouTube. He has received three US presidential service awards in 2005, 2006, and 2007 for creating innovative series of free art workshops for beginners to professional artists and abled to disabled persons.
Beyond being a Painter
There is more to John Bramblitt than being the world’s best blind painter.
– John works with charities and non-profits to help them to raise funds. He designs artistic events that raise awareness and attract media attention, and
– He consults museums to be more inclusive using multi-modal and multi-sensory techniques.
When asked – What would you say is the best thing about being visually impaired?
“My art changed when I lost my sight. I was always very visually oriented, but I didn’t paint before losing my eyesight, I just drew. I loved to draw. When I was sighted, if I could do a drawing of someone and the drawing looked like the person, it was a good drawing. But after I lost my eyesight, it needed to change.
When I started getting back into art again, I wanted my drawings to look like the person, but it was more important it felt like the person. I was so interested in perception. For example, if a family member of yours walked into a crowded room, everybody would see the same person. They would see the clothes they’re wearing, their haircut, they would hear them talking. Everybody would get the same information about that person. But what they thought and felt about the person could be completely different, and I thought that was so interesting because it’s the same visually.
I also didn’t use color or paint before losing my eyesight. But after losing my sight, the colors had to get brighter and explosive because I had to show emotion and ideas.”
(Courtesy 3D Media: Faces Behind the Screen: John Bramblitt)
Like John, we must believe – Everyone has an artist somewhere in them; sometimes they just need a little help letting it out. Now it is our turn to bring out the artist within us. But till then, let us begin with buying John Bramblitt’s art or commissioning a piece from the world-famous blind painter.