Aphantasia

So thanks to BJPentecost who pointed me to this video, I discovered that I MIGHT have Aphantasia, which is a mental condition that makes it impossible to imagine pictures in your head or to plan visual scenes just in your brain, like making blueprints of what you want to do, so it's literally like mental blindness.

Well, that would explain why I usually have not a single idea of what I'm doing while arting! When people request a particular idea or character I usually can't do it because I just can't imagine it in the first place. Geez, I can't even imagine MY OWN fantasy world, that's why you pretty much never get to see it beyond just a couple of elven butts.

I always assumed it's because I'm a failure as an artist and because I wasn't classically trained for it, so it was a discovery for me that other people can actually visualize scenes right inside their brain, they can think of the details before even drawing, they can watch a book like a movie, imagine themselves on the beach while meditating, etc, etc... I always thought all this was just figurative speech!

So yeah, I think this artwork vividly explains Aphantasia because at any given step I had absolutely no idea of what I was doing, I just literally iterated through the process by making it a bit more complex on each step. I honestly tried very hard to give it a direction, to think what I'm even trying to draw here, what kind of place is that, but I epicly failed to do that to the very last step!

But I think Aphantasia is pretty great for coming up with entirely spontanous things like this. So it might be kind of like the Asperger's syndrome that has its pros and cons, so it's difficult to call it a full scale illness because depending on the person and circumstances, the pros might greatly outweigh the cons!

I usually try to find pros of an illness, for example, I think even Depression has a few positive sides, for example it allows you to sit and meditate for a very long time at no cost and it really lowers your obsession with the world and all the futile pleasures in it, they just don't move you at all. Spiritual people go into temples and work for years to reach this level.

So personally, I don't even think of Aphantasia as an illness. I've already developed many tricks to work around it before I even learned that I might have it. For example, writing stories before, after or in the middle of drawing really helps to make it easier for me to understand what I'm drawing.

Another trick I use is to just wait until something like a picture or a video "speaks" to me, or rather I "speak" to it, like, hey I want to draw something like this! It usually gives a very stable base to work with and what's the best is my final drawing never looks anything like the original reference that inspired it! I don't know, must be another side-effect of Aphantasia that I can't even repeat a frickin reference in front of my nose!

But 3D literally beats it all as a tool because it actually turns Aphantasia from a disadvantage into an advantage! You can literally change your plans at any moment, change the pose, turn the camera, change the lighting, you don't even have to plan your scene ahead since you get all the tools to play with it like a toy. It turns the feeling of "I don't know what I'm doing!!" into true art, something that is the expression of what you feel...

By the way I sometimes still say "I draw it", while it's actually 3D but to me the word "draw" has a magical meaning, unlike the word "painting" as a process of just putting down paint on a canvas, "drawing" is more like summoning something into this world, like you "draw" or "pull" the characters from another plane into this reality.

So yeah... *cough*... What a wonderful fold though! 😂