My Eye Exam – Ashley Lai

Artist Description: I first became aware of my changing vision when I was eight years old and told my mom that I had to squint to see the whiteboard in class. My mom rushed me to her optometrist, a stern lady with impeccably straight hair that asked me to read the letters on the chart to her. This art piece was created to show the uncertainty I had at my first optometry appointment when I tried to read the eye chart. The eyes in the background represented the watchful eyes of my mom and her optometrist as they waited to see how I would do. The girl in the front represented me, worried because all I could read were the fuzzy outlines of what appeared to be the alphabet, leading to years of appointments, glasses, and contact lenses. In this art piece, I wanted to capture the nervousness that came with my first visit to the optometrist, an experience that is shared by many.

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Bio: Ashley Lai has been doing graphic design as a hobby since she was a child as a way to be creative, whether it be creating stickers, logos, or graphics conveying her thoughts and ideas. Her art has also been featured by other journals such as Lucid and The Scribe, both of which are affiliated with UC Irvine. Since obtaining her B.S. in Biology from UC Irvine in 2021, she is working towards a career in the healthcare field with the goal of incorporating art.