This story first appeared in the Information Point newsletter Our World in 2013, when Andy C Villon, a 19 year old freelance artist, diagnosed with X-linked myotubular myopathy, who lives in Greenville, South Carolina told us about four watercolours he had produce for Audentes Therapeutics in San Francisco, a biotechnology company developing new treatments for people with serious rare diseases, through the application of gene therapy technology and currently working to develop a treatment for myotubular myopathy.
Andy says: I am diagnosed with X-linked myotubular myopathy however I do not let this disability stop me from enjoying life. I have been painting and drawing as a hobby all of my life. When I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to do something with art. Around this time, I painted my first watercolor of the Grand Canyon and seeing how it came out, I knew I was on the right track. This painting won in the youth category in the 2014 RareArtist.org art competition.
For the past three years I have been instructed by Bruce L Bunch who is a professional artist. Mr Bunch has guided me and given me advice on how to improve my painting skills, I have learned a lot about art history, digital art and traditional art from watching videos on YouTube and I learned about design when I read the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
My watercolors tend to look much more realistic than my acrylic paintings. My acrylics are very impressionistic and vibrant. After watching a girl on YouTube draw photorealistic portraits using colored pencils, I was inspired to try that medium too. When I paint with watercolors and acrylics I enjoy painting broad landscapes.
I love powerful scenes where you can see an entire city or valley and earlier this year was contacted by Tristen Moors of Audentes Therapeutics. She wanted me to paint four watercolors of scenes from around San Francisco, California, to go in their new office. These were the first large (18″ x 24″) and realistic watercolors I had ever done and I truly appreciated what I was painting due to the fact that I had traveled to San Francisco in 2013 and the paintings helped me learn so much about working with watercolors.
The four watercolours painted by Andy are now showcased on the walls of the Audentes offices in San Fransciso and as the photos here show, the team are very happy with his work.