The Aphantasia Artist- creating with no visual imagination.

 

Aphantasia is the suggested name for a condition where one does not possess a functioning mind’s eye and cannot visualize imagery.[1] The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880,[2] but has remained largely unstudied since. Interest in the phenomenon renewed after the publication of a study conducted by a team led by Prof. Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter,[3] which also coined the term aphantasia.[4] Research on the subject is still scarce, but further studies are planned.

So until last year I knew nothing about this, and when I say I knew nothing I mean never hear of it, didn’t know it was even a thing and never realised people saw images in their mind…………..well my mind got well and truly blown. How the heck could I be an artist and not have the slightest clue. All those terms and expressions mean all the same thing to me as anyone else, you know the ones, paint a image in your mind, can you imagine that, i cant un see that, oh can see their face now. I discovered at the grand old age of 47 that I had a blind mind eye. I discovered this after going through some brain working recursive therapy for muscle tension dysphona and found I got frustrated when the therapist kept asking what I saw in relation to certain questions.

So I within a couple of weeks I discovered Aphantasia, it had a title and I began to understand what it was all about………and then i felt totally robbed. People see things in their mind…….while there awake? WTF? How?

Now I do dream when I sleep, I can only think that its a different part of the brain that preforms that function. But if you ask me to imagine a blue gorilla with a pink banana walking down the high street………nothing, not a thing, nada. But it then got me thinking what other things will this effect. Well I wont suffer from PTSD flash backs. I don’t relive that horror film that made everyone squirm. I can’t describe someones face, because I can’t re see it, I don’t remember directions, I tend to mentally remind myself what shops I have been past. I can watch the same film or read the same book a few months later and don’t remember the plot. When reading I don’t like descriptive text because I can’t imagine it. But that thing people tell you when going to a job interview, to imagine everyone naked, yeah kind of glad i can’t do that one; and one person via a post went I feel for you, you don’t have a wank bank………๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. I don’t want to know.

I can’t have a memory palace, my spelling is terrible as I can’t visualise the word to work it out. Unless I look at photos I don’t always recall memories that most people can and would. But I am not sad, I have never known any different, and as for that gorilla and everything else I can think about it as much as you like, I can remember it forever if I commit it to memory but alas never ever see it.

So fast forward to now, I always knew I was wired up different to everyone else, I didn’t know why but just knew. See I have always been into the art and always struggled to get ideas and concepts on to paper but creating something out of a pile of nothing placed in front of me was a piece of cake. So even though i don’t see things in my mind doesn’t mean I can’t be creative. If anything I think it actually helps, I can come up with concepts and idea and even though I can not get it on to paper I just make them straight off the bat.

And I am happy to stay that way……….beside I i started seeing things now I would think I was hallucinating ๐Ÿ˜

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