John BramblittJohn Bramblitt is a blind artist living in Denton, Texas. He has sold his work in over 120 different countries and is quickly becoming a household name all around the world. Some of his original pieces have auctioned for over $30,000 in America and now his work is becoming more and more sort after in the art world. He has appeared internationally in print, TV and radio. He has appeared on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, ABC, NBC, FOX, Discovery Channel and BBC Radio and TV to name a few outlets, and he's been featured in The New York Times and Psychology Today, as well as designed the artwork for numerous magazine covers and even the artwork for major film productions. He's the subject of the award winning documentary shorts "Line of Sight' and “Bramblitt.” His work has received much recognition including the ‘Most Inspirational Video of 2008′ from YouTube and three Presidential Service Awards for his innovative art workshops.
John is also the author of the award winning book, Shouting in the Dark , and is the current selectee for the Texas Governor’s Disability Employment Awareness poster. He currently works as a consultant for museums in developing programs that are designed to include everyone – no matter their ability or disability. Shouting in the Dark is the story of Bramblitt's life, his journey navigating through this new territory of blindness, and how he ultimately rekindles his joy, passion, and relationships through art.
Prior to his blindness, John studied at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he graduated with honors. When Bramblitt lost the last of his vision in 2001 due to complications with epilepsy and Lyme's disease, 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 colored 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 visualization, which enables him to "see" his subjects through touch. He now paints amazingly lifelike portraits of people he's never seen--including his wife and son.
While art was always a major part of John’s life it was not until he lost his sight in 2001 that he began to paint, and it was then that he says, “Art reshaped my life.” John’s paintings are intensely personal, and are mostly taken from real people and events in his life. John’s workshops are unique in the art world in that they not only span the gap between beginning 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.”
John has won 3 presidential service awards for the art workshops he teaches and he has now painted portraits of many famous people including skateboarder Tony Hawk, Audrey Hepburn, as well as blues legend Pop Carter. John is inspiring many young artists to follow their dreams in the face of adversity.