George Redhawk is an inspiration to me. Our lives seem almost parallel. George, years ago was working in the field of medicine. Not only did George work in the field of medicine, it was his passion. As many in the medical field, he worked in many areas. Finally, he became an instructor in the medical field. Then tragedy struck. He found out he was going blind. Even with his diagnosis, he continued his instructional work in the medical field for 4 years. George speaks of how his diagnosis ending his medical career was
“devastating financially, physically, and emotionally”
His condition is progressive meaning eventually he will go completely blind but until then somewhat like me, he found his way to the internet and the wonderful possibilities that lay online. He explored the internet to see the beautiful things on this planet while he still had some remaining sight.
I searched the internet in my quest to learn everything that I always wanted to learn. Through his search, George learned how truly expressive art could be. This too is parallel to my life. I find art in EVERYTHING I see. My form of art expression comes in abstract digital form whereas Georges comes in the form of amazing GIFS. George uses GIFS as a way to express the constant flow and morphing of how his vision is affected and shows the new way he perceives the world around him.
At first, his curiosity led him to learn and control this medium of art expression. However now he uses it to express emotions pertaining to his progressive blindness. His popularity has grown as his unique form of art and he has many artists asking for him to “morph” their work. Obviously, it wasn’t like that in the beginning of this part of George’s Journey. He would find an artist that inspired him, create his style of art from their pictures and send a copy to the artist with permission to release it to the public. This process led him to literally have hundreds of favorite artists. Just as I can spend several hours to days creating different websites and using digital art to release stress, George gets lost in his talents and abilities as well.
George lives in France with his wife and his Malamute who lets him know when he needs a break from his art creations. So twice a day he ventures out ending up in the local village or playing at the local beaches. When asked if he had something he wished for his reply brought tears to my eyes.
“Wishing for something would imply that there’s something lacking in my life”.
He goes on to say regardless of his disabilities he tries to find the good things in life. However, his one wish would be that
“the whole world would just slow down for a minute and be nice to each other”.
What a simple wish that would make such a big difference to so many people in this world. As many people, including myself, those who have a disability of some kind, find wonder, greatness, and peace in the little things in life. Like I said tears in my eyes.
George was asked about advice for other people with special needs. He replied that everyone should find beauty in their own perception of the world and then share it because others’ vision are important too.
I had to come to terms that my nursing profession was over but learned that didn’t mean it was the end of the world. There’s so much more to do and see out there. There are so many possibilities to explore which I share on my portfolio website. That is what I’ve done by continuing my education teaching myself to design websites and finding ways to express my artistic side in a digital abstract way. George’s views changed profoundly too. His blindness destroyed his earlier life but it’s now it’s full and complete as well. He found love, a new life in France, became a world-renowned artist but more importantly he became a message of Hope. His final thought:
“God is a funny guy, and you never know what amazing things are waiting around the next challenge but without hope you may fail to see them”.
I have gathered some of my favorite works of art for Part 1 of featuring George Redhawk. This post was written to show George not just as an artist but as someone who has a disability and still lives life to the fullest. That has become my motto after many years of trials and tribulations. Next week, join me again as I explore George Redhawk’s art again but with a concentration on his Native American roots.
We all have so many “labels” put on us, no matter if we wish it or not. I say, let’s celebrate those “labels” because they are not going to go away. As a person with a disability and having a son with disabilities, I have had to prove myself time and time again that being “disabled” is not the only side to me. I am so much more and if people can’t see that, then I really do not need them in my life.
Enjoy these beautiful works of art and check back next Saturday for Part 2.