These wonderful doodlewashes are from Christoph Schneider, in Engadin, Switzerland (you can see more work by Christoph on Google+). Christoph was born in Germany in 1968 with a functionally blind right eye, no depth perception, and red/green and blue/yellow color blindness. “So I got a good reason not to paint as child,” he says.
As he grew up, Christoph kept telling himself he couldn’t paint and says he got “more and more into the wrong excuses: I can’t do it, for I am half blind.” The worst part of all of this excusing was that he didn’t believe in himself. And the more he would tell himself that he couldn’t paint, the more he would believe it – “I just can’t.”
As a teacher in religion and as reverend of a protestant parish, one day he finally decided to try. On this pivotal day, he took a box of watercolors and two brushes home from the school. This is where his unique art journey begins – as a Reverend in Engadin, Switzerland.
“I had to work out my own way,” he says. “There were a lot of pictures in my head. Loving art, I had a certain idea of what a picture is. How it should look to me.” After years of telling himself this wasn’t possible, he was determined to prove to himself that he could do it.
So, he just started, ignoring his previous excuses. Over the next two years he would paint and sketch regularly, learning all he could and practicing daily. It wasn’t easy, but he kept working at it, and soon something truly remarkable happened. He had ignored his fears about making art and trained so hard, that his “blind” eye was now beginning to make connections with his brain to let him see stereoscopically (in 3D).
“It was amazing,” Christoph says. “So I took up my sketchbook, ink and colors. And more and more I took it with me – at least one sketch each day. Nowadays, I like to sketch people on the streetcar, silly things and landscapes.” His remarkable journey is one of persistence and courage and a testament to what can happen when you choose not to give up. Be sure to visit his Google+ page to see more of his wonderful art.
Thank you so much for sharing your art and story with us Christoph! It’s truly inspiring and we’ll be watching to see what wonderful things you’ll make next. And if you’re out there wondering if you have what it takes to make art, just remember what Christoph says, “Sketching isn’t about technique, color or perspective, but about getting your excuses out of your brain and trusting in the colors you choose.”