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Does that sound like a nonesense question to you? Or did you react with a colour right away? If you instantly had a colour in mind you might be one of the pople who expereince “Synesthesia”…

Synesthesia is a phenomenon where the senses seem to cross over and one sense simultaneously triggers a response in another.  For example, someone with Synesthesia might see music as colours and lines or feel flavours as textures and forms.  It can also include cognitive skills such as numeracy with Synesthetes visualisng certain numbers as shapes in a landscape. People with this sort of experience can often quickly solve mathematical problems by picturing an equasion as a sort of landscape and seeing which shapes/numbers are missing or where certain numbers should be. For the Wikipedia definition of Synesthesia, just click on the link at the bottom of this page.

I’m just thinking about Synesthesia  and how it might affect my Art – both in terms of how people respond to my paintings and how they ‘see’ my art and whether I am influenced by Synesthesia at all when I create it.  I’m wondering whether we all have a certain level of Synesthesia and how it affects our responses to things like Art & Design. How it affects our choices of things like interior decor, food or clothing and how much it influences our creativity when we compose music, paint pictures or prepare food and so on.

    “Autumn? That’s the orange one isn’t it?”  (My nephew)

I have heard of Artists who base their abstract paintings on Synesthetic experiences, painting pictures of sounds.  I’ve also heard of Synesthetes who are composers harmonising their music by ‘blending the colours they hear’ and conducting orchestras with comands like “It’s too green! Try to play it more…blue!” 

  “Mmm, this smells really green!”  (My nephew)

I’ve never considered myself to be a Synesthete before, but thinking about it, I do allways see Friday as red and 7 is definitely orange (?!)  I don’t have colours for all words or figures but there are some that allways present themselves as a certain colour in my mind’s eye. Also I seem to have a very visual interpretation of music which greatly influences my Art. So, I’m wondering how much synesthesia might have been affecting my Art, perhaps on a subconcious level…and How about you?…

 Do you experience synesthesia?

How does it affect the things you choose?

Do you utilise it in creative work?

I’m intrigued to hear people’s experiences of Synesthesia so please comment.


“I just saw a massive, spikey, dog bark!” (My nephew)

(All the quotes are comments made by my 8yr old nephew who has a diagnosis of Autism. Synesthesia is particularly common among Autistic people. No one has formally mentioned the possibility of Synesthesia yet. . .)