One thing every artist needs is superb colour vision…unless you're digital artist Tania Walker. Despite her diagnosis of red-green colour blindness early in life, Walker has achieved her dream of becoming a professional digital artist at a Hobart game development company.
When asked how she achieved such great success, Walker told reporters, "If you love what you're doing the difficulty doesn't matter, in fact the challenge just adds to it."
The main tool Walker uses in her artistic work is Photoshop. Whenever she's curious about a particular shade of green or red, Walker just puts her mouse over the colour and looks up the numerical value. That number tells Walker all she needs to do about the strength of her colour choice.
Besides using the numerical data from Photoshop, Walker regularly asks her colleagues to tell her how the colours compliment one another.
A few weeks ago, Walker purchased a pair of glasses that correct red-green colour blindness. Ever since she started wearing these glasses, Walker says she can't stop staring at the grass whenever she goes for walks. For the first time in her life, Walker can tell the difference between dead and healthy grass.
Interestingly, Walker doesn't use her new sunglasses during working hours. She says the fact that she's colour blind really challenges her to innovate, which often leads her to create bolder works of art.
Although there are obvious disadvantages to having red-green colour blindness, Walker was quick to point out a few of the benefits that people often overlook. For starters, she has a greater time seeing people in camouflage than people with normal vision. Also, she says her colour blindness helps her spot wallabies easier whenever she's on a hike.
Colour blindness is a disorder that affects the X-chromosome, which is the main reason men are more susceptible to the disease than women.
Although women can be born colour blind, as Walker's case illustrates, only about one in 200 women are affected with the disease. By contrast, one in twelve men are born with red-green colour blindness.
While there's no cure for colour blindness, there are many ways people can cope with the disorder. There are tons of hi-tech glasses on the market that help people like Walker see the world in full colour. Also, many tech companies are working on ways to make contact lenses that can help colour blind patients.
Unfortunately, many people brush off colour blindness as just a minor issue. Not only can colour blindness affect a person's job prospects, it can also be a safety hazard. Many people with colour blindness struggle to tell the difference between red and green on traffic lights.
People who suspect they have colour blindness should discuss their concerns with a registered ophthalmologist. There are also many eye test apps people can use to test the strength of their colour vision.