What does your creative process look like?
Whether you visualize – or not – it doesn’t define you, nor does it link with the quality of what you can produce. There are extraordinarily talented artists on both ends of the spectrum from aphantasia, inability to visualize in the mind’s eye, to hyperphantasia or hyper-vivid, almost lifelike imagination. Not convinced?
Ed Catmull, founder and former CEO of Pixar who created some of our favourite Disney classics like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Inside Out; happens to be blind in his mind’s eye. A BBC News article featuring his story has illuminated several assumptions we make about creativity. Catmull is quoted here saying; “People have conflated visualization with creativity and imagination, but they are not the same thing.”
Catmull reminds us that we are capable of great work, regardless of our neuro-differences. We just go about the creative process in different ways!
Are you aphantasic or hyperphantasic? Tell us more about your creative process.
I work I sheet metal manufacturing, dealing with CAD drawings etc.
I find I can draw in my mind as if it’s a CAD program, connecting lines, assembling parts, and rotating things in any direction. But the slate is quickly wiped clean if I don’t draw it out on paper.
Also this pretty much only works with straight lines, curves and organic shapes have always been hard for me.
I’m a self taught hobby artist and writer. I’ve never had issues of putting words on paper; I have never needed to “translate” images to words for a story. However, that doesn’t necessarily make writing absolutely easy for me either. Because I’m not actually able to see the scene in my head, it’s easy for me to miss things I need, or character blocking etc. that a non-aphant wouldn’t have issues with.
Further, with drawing, I never formally had much art lessons, I just took it up one day and relied on the internet for a lot of tutorials. Drawing from memory is a near disaster, but easier with references, or if I’m used to drawing a specific character. I can usually “feel” how I want the character to be posed, or what their expression is, as it is a physical feeling. Backgrounds? Forget it.