Guest Post: Art, How I See It


Hi, everyone! My name’s Elm, and I blog over at Just Call me Elm or Something. I’m collaborating with the lovely Maya, which honestly makes my day!

Before anything, I want to tell you what I can see – or rather, what I can’t see. Far be it for me to define myself by this, but I’m blind. I can see nothing out of my right eye, and only light, contrasts and a few shapes out of my left. I couldn’t see faces, beautiful landscapes or anything of the sort. I despise getting pity for it; I’ve always been blind and have never seen anything different from what I do now, and so I view it as normal. To set the scene, I needed to tell you, so that you understand.

Because of my lack of vision, it may be surprising to you that art is actually quite important to me. There are beautiful paintings, filled with life and sweeping brushstrokes; there are natural landscapes, intricately carved with the path of water and faces of rock that hold swirling patterns. Captured in ink, paint or photography, it is ever present and unchanging, an image that could be interpreted in a thousand different ways.

That is art to you. Doesn’t it appear beautiful? To me, it is; I’m always fascinated by what people can do to make a picture come alive, to their eyes, to make it appear striking, stunning or just real.

What many people don’t see is that art isn’t just visual. A blast of trumpets, an angelic voice singing or buskers on the street is what I consider to be my paint, my canvas, my pencil. It may seem stereotypical, that a blind person talks about music as if it’s the only thing that they appreciate, but I still have ears.

If you pick up a book with glorious writing, you think, “I wish I could be there, though the author has done an amazing job of helping me visualise it.” The same could be said for me: I’ve never seen a stream tumbling over the rocks, but I can almost imagine the sound, the way it would feel. Now I think on it, THAT is another form of art. To take the written word and to transform it into something else, for even only a few people, helps people to know what something out of their understanding would be like.

They tell me, “Isn’t it a shame that you can’t see the amazing art work she’s done?” I say yes, and then no. I’ll never experience it, but I can be told how beautiful it is. I can be transported into the world of colours and sight, only for a second: a bystander, but still there.

Everything is a form of art, when you look deep enough. To a deaf person, a drawing may be appreciated so much more: who knows? I have never been told, not by someone who could show me the world of what it’s like to not hear sound that I take for granted. That’s why I’m telling you my version, so that you can at least see one perspective.

What I want to show you is that every single person’s version of art is different. Perhaps you suspected that I would talk about music, or writing, but if you think that’s the stereotypical blind notion of what art is, you’d be wrong. I’m different, you’re different and the closest person to you is different.

Even if you don’t get a single thing out of this post, I want you to remember that some people don’t have the things you have. Be that vision, hearing, an arm or a house. This isn’t just about art; it’s about realising that even when someone has a disability, or has something “lacking”, they still continue on with their life. It’s not the end. I may get upset sometimes that I can’t see the stars, or pictures on somebody’s blog, but it doesn’t stop me from finding creativity in other places.

What do you think art is?

I’d like to thank Maya for having me on her blog. She’s a truly wonderful person, and for her to ask me to collaborate put a smile on my face. I really hoped you enjoyed reading, because whilst I was writing, it helped me to think about my own perceptions and judgements.

From Elm πŸ™‚



  1. MiraSG · September 11, 2016

    Hello, yes – art is so much more. There are even people who live a life that is like a piece of art. I don’t know if you ever heard about all this new stuff like bionic eyes and so .. if interested this could be a starting point
    Have a great day!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elm · September 11, 2016

      Thanks! Yeah, I knew about them πŸ™‚ Because of my eye condition, I don’t think they’d work for me. I’d have to adjust so much never being able to see to being able to see. But maybe, one day πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • MiraSG · September 11, 2016

        I hope that this day will come soon!! Best wishes to you!!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Elm · September 2, 2016

    I absolutely will! Your comment was lovely to read πŸ™‚ And you are exactly right.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. shyla256 · August 31, 2016

    Lovely piece Elm, Thax for being positive and spreading it, keep the spirit darling.

    And to me I see art as a creation, a new form of being and a second chance to something…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elm · August 31, 2016

      That’s a beautiful way of seeing things! πŸ™‚ And thank you; I’m glad you liked my post. It means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TrainOfThought · August 30, 2016

    This is probably the most interesting post I’ve ever read. I’ve never seen the world like this. I’ve never seen art like this.
    But I guess, art isn’t just paintings and sketchings, it is anything beautiful or inspiring or creative. Something from the heart and put out there for others to admire. Something beautiful. Written or painted. Felt or smelled. Tasted or seen. Art is the creativity from within. Music, books, paintings, fragrances, etc…

    This was such an amazing post and really gave me an insight on how it is to lack your vision. I’ve read a book called ‘She Is Not Invisible’ where the main character is blind but we don’t find out later in the book and I really liked how amazing that book was, just like this post!

    P.S I love your blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elm · August 30, 2016

      And I think that was the most beautiful, and resonating, comment I’ve ever read. Your words summarise my thoughts exactly, so thank you so much for that!! πŸ™‚
      I adore that book; I met the author and I know this is killing my anonymity, but I helped with the research haha! The book is so good ahhhh!
      I love your blog too; thank you!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • TrainOfThought · August 31, 2016

        Thank you πŸ™‚
        Are you serious? Wow, that’s just amazing!You met the author and helped with the book? I loved the book so that’s really cool!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elm · August 31, 2016

          Hahaha yeah, I was 12 at the time so it didn’t really sink in but then I read the book and was like “AAAAHH!!!”

          Liked by 2 people

          • TrainOfThought · August 31, 2016

            Wow, that’s such a great opportunity at such a young age! What a coincidence that I mentioned that book and you knew all about it. Oh, and the book is about coincidences too. Another coincidence!!!

            Liked by 2 people

            • Elm · August 31, 2016

              Ahhh so true! I should really re-read it πŸ™‚ It was great!

              Liked by 2 people

  5. richcreativemuse · August 29, 2016

    Reblogged this on The Creative Muse-2016 and commented:
    This is a heartful, beautiful, and profound statement about art in the broadest, most courageous sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. richcreativemuse · August 29, 2016

    I really totally resonate with your post. This is a verse from a song that I wrote while living in Santa Fe, NM. Please visualize this coming up a long mountain road and seeing this vision before you.

    Pastel shades of blue
    painted on the panorama β€˜fore my eyes
    Oh, Magenta, red, and aqua rainbows
    fill the sky just like some rhyme –

    I see by this post that, despite your disability, you have a deep heart, and truly value beauty and art in all its manifestations. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elm · August 30, 2016

      The song lyrics are truly beautiful. Thank you for your kind words; it means a lot to me. What I wanted to do was spread the message that art appears in many different forms, and that what I described is just one way. I’m glad that you could get something out of it πŸ™‚


  7. slfinnell · August 29, 2016

    Art is creativity. To me. I live where folks upcycle motor and leftover tool parts into ‘creatures’ for the yard. It’s called “hillbilly or redneck’ around here but it will sell in cities as “folk art”. Who is right to define what is or isn’t art?? It’s a state of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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