I think the number one things people are curious about, when they find out about my visual disability is, “What can you see?” I would say that it is like having blurry vision all the time. Even though I can have glasses, they only help a tiny bit, so I rather not wear them at all. I was diagnosed as a teenager for Stargardt disease, a genetic condition affecting the retina. Despite all this, I’ve always been creative and visually inclined. It has affected my life in different ways, especially in the area of career. When I was younger, I was advised to seek a career direction that would maybe be considered “easier”. While I did consider tis advice, I did not agree. Life is not about being easier. Life is about being who you are. And what I am, is an artist. My challenges and differences are a part of who I am. And I do not run away from them.
During my trip to Europe last year, I experimented with manual focus to try and create a representation of what it’s like to see through my eyes. I can’t say it’s 100 percent true to what my vision is like. It’s still an artistic representation. But it’s somewhat accurate, in that my vision is blurred and I can still make out what things are. I’ve put together a video with an audio clip of an interview I did with Lauren Herrera. If you’d like to listen to the entire interview, click here.
©2017 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.