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Sophist
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12 Apr 2008, 4:06 pm

K, this is sort of a personal question leading back to me but I'm wanting to know if there's any visual artists here on WP who also are either hyperlexic or who have reading comprehension difficulties.

Are you there?

If so, I have a question for you about language and your art: Do you have a difficult time explaining why you drew, painted, photographed, sculpted, etc., the way you did when someone asks you "Why?"

For myself, even though I am not an art major, I have had quite a few studio classes to balance my science classes (take a little breather). My professors have always fallen in love with my work. However, they always want to know why I did something. Why did I choose such-and-such design? What made me decide to do that?

And I can never seem to tell them anything more in depth than, "I don't know, I just liked it".

After being in the art department for a few years now and getting acquainted with other artists (professors and students), I gather than many of them, especially the accomplished ones, are better able to say why they did something-- in essence, to explain it in language.

It's not that my brain doesn't know why I do things: they aren't accidents. It's just that it's a visual part of my brain, not a language part, that knows these things. But my visual and language areas feel, I don't know, poorly interconnected as though one has difficulty translating to the other.

So when the visual parts of my brain decide upon something, they're not very good at communicating that to my language centers so they too can know and translate my reasoning to the outside world whenever somebody asks "WHY?".

Does anybody find this disconnect between their visual and language systems as well??? You don't necessarily have to be an artist to answer; it was just more precise to my situation.


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12 Apr 2008, 4:39 pm

Well, during art class I'm also asked why I drew something, and what it means. And I can't answer, not because I don't know but because I don't know how to explain using laungage.



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12 Apr 2008, 4:53 pm

I'm an artist, and I always have trouble explaining why I do something. Most of my work is linked back to either a dream or just instinct, and after that my motives are just that doing specific things makes my work more aesthetically pleasing. That's really about it...



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12 Apr 2008, 5:09 pm

Tormod wrote:
Well, during art class I'm also asked why I drew something, and what it means. And I can't answer, not because I don't know but because I don't know how to explain using laungage.


pinkbowtiepumps wrote:
I'm an artist, and I always have trouble explaining why I do something. Most of my work is linked back to either a dream or just instinct, and after that my motives are just that doing specific things makes my work more aesthetically pleasing. That's really about it...


Yes, this is precisely it. Do either of you have either hyperlexic traits or any reading comprehension difficulties?

I'm asking in particular because I think these might be slightly linked, in that some of my reading comprehension difficulties arise because I am dependent upon visualizing what words mean (images) and so the less concrete the writing becomes, the greater difficulty I have comprehending it because it's harder (and a slower process) to find images to represent the words so my brain can "get it". --So the whole art-into-language thing might rely upon similar neural tracts, just in the reverse order.

I asked about hyperlexia too because I've heard a few hyperlexics mention a similar visual-language disconnect.


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Belfast
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12 Apr 2008, 7:21 pm

Sophist wrote:
I asked about hyperlexia too because I've heard a few hyperlexics mention a similar visual-language disconnect.

Know I could wiki it to check, but isn't hyperlexia "more reading", as hypergraphia is "more writing" ? How does that relate to difficulty w/reading comprehension ? I'm not sure, didn't have any labels in school (except for "gifted"). I read, write, and draw a lot-have ever since I learned how as a child.
Sophist wrote:
However, they always want to know why I did something. Why did I choose such-and-such design? What made me decide to do that?

And I can never seem to tell them anything more in depth than, "I don't know, I just liked it".

Am (according to most other people I've met) articulate & fluent with word (verbal) language-yet there are areas of exception. Haven't much to say about my artwork-same idea as you offer: "I did it this way because this way looked good to me". I don't do representational art, I make designs/patterns, and have NO mental picture in mind (can't visualize what doesn't exist) before or during the making. It doesn't mean anything whatsoever to me than an investment of my time & effort, with result of a pretty thing that pleases me. Does that make me shallow ?
I'm good at & enjoy doing art. On other hand, the whole "special" notion of "art" as being this whole belief system with dogma, rules, and objectivity (of artists & works that are inarguably great or trash) totally repel, annoy, and conflict with my personal values. What a bind !


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Sophist
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12 Apr 2008, 7:37 pm

Belfast wrote:
Sophist wrote:
I asked about hyperlexia too because I've heard a few hyperlexics mention a similar visual-language disconnect.

Know I could wiki it to check, but isn't hyperlexia "more reading", as hypergraphia is "more writing" ? How does that relate to difficulty w/reading comprehension ? I'm not sure, didn't have any labels in school (except for "gifted"). I read, write, and draw a lot-have ever since I learned how as a child.


Yeah, defined most simply it is:

A precocious ability to read words, far above what would be expected at their chronological age or an intense fascination with letters or numbers.

I mentioned hyperlexia because in conversation with some hyperlexics online, some have mentioned a similar "disconnect" between their reading ability and comprehension that I have had (without the precocious ability). I started wondering whether the deficit of comprehension is on a spectrum and that what I deal with is not unlike that which some (though not all) hyperlexics experience with the comprehension problems. (Hyperlexia in its simplest form means the reading of language, phonetically, and not necessarily the understanding of that language; although there definitely are hyperlexics who understand what they read too.)

The reason I asked about artists and the reading stuff was because of my need to have visual images for what I read, whereas attempting to translate vision (art) into language seems to be the reverse process. I.e., perhaps it's the same or similar neural tracts that 1) translate language into imagery for comprehension and 2) make it difficult translating visual thought back into language.

Quote:
Sophist wrote:
However, they always want to know why I did something. Why did I choose such-and-such design? What made me decide to do that?

And I can never seem to tell them anything more in depth than, "I don't know, I just liked it".

Am (according to most other people I've met) articulate & fluent with word (verbal) language-yet there are areas of exception. Haven't much to say about my artwork-same idea as you offer: "I did it this way because this way looked good to me". I don't do representational art, I make designs/patterns, and have NO mental picture in mind (can't visualize what doesn't exist) before or during the making. It doesn't mean anything whatsoever to me than an investment of my time & effort, with result of a pretty thing that pleases me. Does that make me shallow ?
I'm good at & enjoy doing art. On other hand, the whole "special" notion of "art" as being this whole belief system with dogma, rules, and objectivity (of artists & works that are inarguably great or trash) totally repel, annoy, and conflict with my personal values. What a bind !


Yes, I am ENDLESSLY annoyed by the "Is this REAL art?" question. :roll: I don't mind symbolism, but that PUSH for art to be symbolic I find inane. If it's symbolic, great! Another thing in its favor I suppose. But I don't think it necessary.

One of my professors was insistent that our work be symbolic (it was a digital art class) and I didn't do very well in that class. He drove me nuts.


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12 Apr 2008, 7:40 pm

I just make that @#$% up...;) I don't know what Hyperlexia is (really scrambling letter order? I should look it up). I know I read an awful lot compared to some.

I can't draw a straight line to save my life, but with the help of computers, I can make passable pictures using Poser, Wings, and Bryce..;) I'll start with a basic idea, or experiment with a technique (trying to learn how to apply textures to a 3d model...right), and a lot of the time, I'll just make up a story while I'm waiting for the thing to render...;)



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12 Apr 2008, 8:01 pm

Sophist wrote:
Yeah, defined most simply it is:

A precocious ability to read words, far above what would be expected at their chronological age or an intense fascination with letters or numbers.

I mentioned hyperlexia because in conversation with some hyperlexics online, some have mentioned a similar "disconnect" between their reading ability and comprehension that I have had (without the precocious ability). I started wondering whether the deficit of comprehension is on a spectrum and that what I deal with is not unlike that which some (though not all) hyperlexics experience with the comprehension problems. (Hyperlexia in its simplest form means the reading of language, phonetically, and not necessarily the understanding of that language; although there definitely are hyperlexics who understand what they read too.)

The reason I asked about artists and the reading stuff was because of my need to have visual images for what I read, whereas attempting to translate vision (art) into language seems to be the reverse process. I.e., perhaps it's the same or similar neural tracts that 1) translate language into imagery for comprehension and 2) make it difficult translating visual thought back into language.

Well, language is (in a way) like letter (or pieces of words, such as prefix or suffix) math to me, though it's easier than number (actual) math. I learned what words meant throughout my life & now I don't even have to consciously call to mind entry for a word to be able to spontaneously start associating other words that might relate.

Am not saying my skill is particularly high level, but that I'll get hunches, impressions (barely conscious of how I got answer, but there it is), a feel for what word "goes with" the other words. Yet, if I had to slow down, "show (and explain) my work"-whether in reference to pictures or words, I couldn't lay out how I "got there from here". I don't have to realize the implications or consequences of words to know what "comes next" or is in same "mental neighborhood" (linguistically). Stuff I "just know" is mysterious function that I can't account for (nor can I explain about the stuff I "just can't seem to learn"), though it's bolstered by having acquired so much information along the way. Wish I could explain this better...


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rifler39
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12 Apr 2008, 9:40 pm

I was hyperlexic, reading and typing before Kindergarten. I just chose not to speak until Kindergarten.

My "art" os not the paper/canvas type. I make things which work, adding decoritive or jeweled touches to make them, at least, artful, if not "art."

I have been asked why I chose certain themes/jewelry for an item and can seldom answer, except to say, "Because it was the right way for that one." :roll:

I have been tempted to say "Because the decaitated pig wouldn't fit." :evil:

Pops


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13 Apr 2008, 10:59 am

rifler39 wrote:
I have been tempted to say "Because the decaitated pig wouldn't fit." :evil:


LOL, I like the idea of answering with something inane and completely unrelated! :lol:

Q: "Why did you choose that design?"

A: "'Cause the pig wouldn't fit up the chimney."


:lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm gonna use that from now on. Of course they'll undoubtedly ask me what that means, and I'll just have to answer, "I don't know, and that's the point!"


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13 Apr 2008, 11:42 am

Sophist wrote:
Tormod wrote:
Well, during art class I'm also asked why I drew something, and what it means. And I can't answer, not because I don't know but because I don't know how to explain using laungage.


pinkbowtiepumps wrote:
I'm an artist, and I always have trouble explaining why I do something. Most of my work is linked back to either a dream or just instinct, and after that my motives are just that doing specific things makes my work more aesthetically pleasing. That's really about it...


Yes, this is precisely it. Do either of you have either hyperlexic traits or any reading comprehension difficulties?

I'm asking in particular because I think these might be slightly linked, in that some of my reading comprehension difficulties arise because I am dependent upon visualizing what words mean (images) and so the less concrete the writing becomes, the greater difficulty I have comprehending it because it's harder (and a slower process) to find images to represent the words so my brain can "get it". --So the whole art-into-language thing might rely upon similar neural tracts, just in the reverse order.

I asked about hyperlexia too because I've heard a few hyperlexics mention a similar visual-language disconnect.


I was very good at reading as a child. I didn't learn it early but I did learn quickly. I started reading at 6. At fist I hated it, because the book I had to read was so damn boring. I thought I would ever learn. But then a week later I discovered comics and realized that reading could be fun. And then I started reading more advanced books, and in second grade my teacher made me help her with listening and correcting the other kids' reading.

I wonder what she was thinking... She actually made me help her with her job because I could read well. And it's not like I was actually able to help the other kids anyway.

But anyway, that's besides the point. It's just that the question made me remember something, so I had to write it down. Either way, I have never had any difficulties in that are.

But I think my way of thinking is a bit odd. Well when I'm drawing I think in pictures, and that makes sense. But usually, I think in a combination of pictures and words, but also a lot of pauses. The pauses are all those words that I don't know, or doesn't exist.

It's not easy to explain. But I'm not thinking about nothing, just about something that I don't have any words for. Sometimes I learn the words, and the silence is replaced by the new words, but my actual thoughts don't change, just my abillity to express them.

Does anyone understand what I'm trying to say? Or does it just sound completely weird?



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13 Apr 2008, 11:51 am

Friends and teachers always ask what I drew, and why I drew it. For me, I have no idea.

Most things they ask about are the doodles I create all over my work. Everywhere. Doodling would be my obsession, currently. Annoys most teachers, although many of them just ignore them.

Doodles... Most just are random things. I honestly don't know what they are alot of the time, and have no idea why they are drawn like that, or what they mean. Always ends up in me just shrugging and continuing the doodlemania.



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13 Apr 2008, 1:44 pm

I drew the picture that is my avatar.

What was I thinking ? No clue, it was 14 years ago. But one might as well ask what I think about while washing the dishes-because the answer would be similar-am thinking about whatever "stream of consciousness" things I usually have as mental content. In other words, nothing in particular. Drawing is one of those things I "just do"-if I knew what I was doing (ahead of time), I couldn't do it-can't plan out what I'll create. When it's complete, it's a surprise to me how it came out-even though I've been seeing what I'm doing all along.

Drawing is nonverbal activity for me, so I can do it easily while listening to someone (or tv/radio) talking, it doesn't conflict because "art-making" is a wordless task for me. Contrast that with being unable to read words & listen to words at same time.


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13 Apr 2008, 1:52 pm

I suppose that I could be considered hyperlexic (not sure if I read early, but when I learned I definitely had advanced reading skills compared to my peers, and could read lots of things that I didn't actually understand).

In art, I always just sort of did things because that was what looked and felt right to me, or because I did have some idea of what it was supposed to 'mean' but I couldn't explain this to someone else (and even if I tried they'd not really understand it). My Media teacher described me as having 'artistic vision' but he would often argue with me despite this, as he didn't always understand what I was doing. I suppose this is the same thing, as film is art (or can be art, if you prefer).



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13 Apr 2008, 3:32 pm

Tormod wrote:
Does anyone understand what I'm trying to say? Or does it just sound completely weird?


I do. It's like ideas that aren't in language, until finally, one at a time, I find words for them.

Does anybody feel like words are one's second language sometimes?


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13 Apr 2008, 3:55 pm

Not sure whether you search for anything like this or not. I am just going to write it down and you can skip if it's not anything of the type you are looking for.

I have extreme problems to translate imagery in my mind to words. I'm not an artist though, I'm only a fan of drawing and art. I also think partly in concrete pictures, as spoken words automatically translate into pictures, sceneries and films.

I can draw my thoughts accurately, but I cannot explain the drawing with words. Illustrations I do for explanation of philosophical or other principles often get ignored as I cannot explain them to the class.

I just see an image before my mind's eye or draw it, but I cannot put it into words at all. I can describe how it looks like, the colours, the shapes easily. But I cannot explain the connection between a principle and the picture other than saying 'this picture is this one principle of Plato's Phaidon'.

I cannot explain why the principles is like a spiral, because it just is a spiral. It is a spiral. I don't see how it's hard to understand?

I sure have a history with reading, but of what nature I cannot say. So I just tell - for you to decide whether that's got anything to do with what you are searching for.

I cannot remember understanding written text before age 6-7. I could 'read', seemingly. But I did not understand what I read. I didn't just have trouble, I could do 0%. I didn't understand that the two main characters in our 'learn reading' school book were called 'Toni' and 'Fine' and the dog went by the name 'Fifi'. I could not answer questions about what we were reading in school.

And I knew I could not 'read' whereas everybody else could! That was horror.

My family claims I've been a maniacal reader since at least 4-5 years of age. They say they don't know exactly when I started reading.

I know that I 'read' and knew the words. I can remember the books I looked at. I knew how to spell the words and how to pronounce them. I had favourites, like 'Zypern' (Cyrups). The word just drew me.

But the texts never struck in meaning until after I could really read. So I never actually knew what a Cyrups was until I could understand the words.

I always thought that's a perfectly normal way to learn reading. And that I was the latest reader of my class, because I never understood what I was reading until the end of first grade.


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