March 29, 2018
By Chelsea Reed
Days of the week are in colors, printed numbers have personalities, and splashes of color flash in front of you with loud sounds and music. No, it’s not Alice in Wonderland or Fantasia, it’s a very real sensory phenomenon called synesthesia.
This special neurological condition wires two senses together in the brain, so when you experience something with one of your senses, another sense picks it up, too. Synesthesia is not a disease, it’s a genetic mutation.
About 4 percent of people have the synesthesia gene, and with artists the odds are higher at 25 percent per 100 artists. The ones who do have it consider this gift a valuable treasure. Some even desire to share it with the world – and that’s where making art with synesthesia comes in.
The Art-Mind Connection
Does synesthesia make artists more creative? Yes! Famous artists like the painter Vincent Van Gough and musician Billy Joel had it, along with many more.
Some painters paint the abstract images they see from hearing sound, while others try to capture their visual perception of time in paintings.
Did you know that people with synesthesia are 8 times more likely to have an artistic career?
Pharrell Williams, another famous musician, depends on his synesthesia to make music. And that’s just the beginning!
Scientists are learning more about synesthesia every day. There is still a long way to go. Over 80 types of synesthesia have been identified so far! The more common ones are:
Synesthesia: an Amazing Art Superpower
The results that happen when artwork is made with synesthesia are simply amazing. Colors are richer and concepts become even deeper than before.
Whether you have synesthesia or not, we can all enjoy artwork that is inspired by synesthetes. (That's people who have synesthesia.) Which pieces inspire you? Take a look through our collection at Seaside Art Gallery and pick a favorite!
Chelsea Reed is a freelance copywriter. She writes articles, blogs, websites and online content from her base in North Carolina.
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