Painter turns to digital art following neuromuscular disease diagnosis
Jodi Laycock's pet portraits are attracting attention worldwide
Jodi Laycock wasn't ready to give up on art even though she is going blind.
The Luseland, Sask., painter started Laycock Digital Art, a pet portrait company, after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that is causing her to go blind and lose mobility.
As I lost my vision and ability to move, it starts to wear on you, so I had to find a solution.- Jodi Laycock
"It's been quite the challenge to come to terms with it," Laycock said of her disease.
"As I lost my vision and ability to move, it starts to wear on you, so I had to find a solution."
Due to her condition, Laycock can't move her eyes. She said they are basically frozen into place. She also has glaucoma, which means she has no peripheral vision.
She could no longer paint in a traditional sense, so she began exploring other mediums.
Laycock said she didn't know anything about digital art but she purchased Photoshop and began watching YouTube videos on how to use it.
Soon, she taught herself to create artwork digitally the way she once had with a brush.
"When you do digital art it makes it a lot easier. If I make a mistake with a brushstroke, I can correct that right away," she said.
Since she started, Laycock has gained some famous clients from all over the world, including a member of the royal family.
She also has a large following online.
Laycock specializes in portraits of pets. She said she's always been an animal lover and she owns five great Danes and a mastiff.
"Everybody loves their pets like family," she said. "I just love being part of people's memories.
"I want to bring life to that image for the person."
Sometimes this means immortalizing a photo of a deceased pet or just artfully recreating an imperfect snapshot.
"I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do this, sadly," said Laycock.
"But I can guarantee I'll do it as long as I possibly can."
With files from CBC Radio's Morning Edition