Some of you have just jumped onboard as recently as today and some of you have been with me from the start. I remember quite a lot of you and I remember everyone who has helped me get here. I remember those of you who chipped in to get me that graphics card I needed all those years ago. I painted a personal piece of art as thanks but I feel like it doesn't come even remotely close to representing my gratitude. At the time, I didn't know the enormity of the difference such a small thing would come to make in my artistic career.
You might not think it was really all that great an investment but because of those who helped me, I was able to make leaps and bounds in progress. My Photoshop ran much more smoothly, I was able to tryout Zbrush, and I was able to dabble with GPU rendering. As you may know, those three things are the core of my art style to this very day. I feel confident saying that if I hadn't gotten my hands on that graphics card, I would not be where I am today. So thank you.
Those of you who have been with me for that long will remember that I have, for the past few years, been suffering from eye problems. I haven't talked about it much because I don't like complaining and I haven't asked for donations because I don't like feeling dependent and indebted. I don't think it would make a difference at this point anyway even if I did ask for help.
My vision is going. I've been to nine different doctors and gotten nine different not-really-explanations. The only thing they all agree on is that my vision is very poor. I have 20/400 vision. If you did not know, that is literally one step away from being considered legally blind. The only saving grace is that my vision CAN be corrected for to some extent with lenses. However, there is only so much such corrections can accomplish and there's no saying my vision won't continue to degrade as it has been.
Even two feet away, I cannot see my monitor clearly. My eyes hurt all the time. Even typing this right now is uncomfortable at 275% zoom. I've thrown thousands of dollars all over the place, running from pillar to post, trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with my eyes. I dropped $360 at my last appointment and just as much at the one before that. If not for my girlfriend and family helping me out, I'd be totally broke. I wouldn't mind if something positive had come of it but I still can't see.
At this rate, I'm starting to feel like even if I had all the money in the world, it STILL would not make a difference. No one has been able to help me thus far. Give me a million dollars and watch me flush it all away on a legion of doctors who can't come to a damn conclusion about why my eyes hurt, why everything looks like its vibrating, and why my vision is so terrible.
I'm waiting on a new pair of glasses but I don't have much hope that this time will be any different. I've done this dance many times before and it's a costly dance, both in terms of my wallet and my stamina to keep fighting. I'm bracing for the possibility that I might be needing to say my farewells as an artist within the next year or so. I'll keep going all the way up until the end, until I can't see at all anymore at all. I can't vouch for the quality of my artwork from here till then though.
Art is and has always been the very thing that defines me, my reason for existing, the thing that kept me going in dark times. Why did it have to be my eyes? Take my legs, take my ears, take my tongue, burn me, scar me from head to toe, make me an ugly beast- I don't care. But why did it have to be my eyes?
If all this sounds overly dour, keep in mind that I've just been told I may not be able to do the one thing I love most anymore. I'm trying my best not to have a damn meltdown anytime I think about the possibility of not being able to see anymore. I don't want any pity but if you have advice, medical or otherwise, worse of wisdom, ideas, or whatever else have you, I'd be happy to zoom in and squint at it.