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Furries with aphantasia?

LinnyChanPL

Linnie :3
Hi! Some of you may already know me as the artist but may not know this fact. I do suffer from aphantasia, that means I don't see any images in my mind and I don't have the ability to visualise objects in real time either. I found out about that totally by random YT video, few years ago.

So let me start with a simple task. Imagine your favorite animal, sitting on your lap. How clearly you can see it? Nothing? Or nearly real?

For me, there is just an empty space. I don't see any animal on my lap.

Now, this post isn't meant to be a vent or attention seeking. Rather, I'm really curious if there is anyone else with that condition here.

If yes, how does it affect your presence in the fandom? Roleplaying? Fantasing? Reading stories?

If you have any questions for me, go ahead, I'd gladly answer them ^w^
 

ben909

garlic
You can still read and type though, or did you need speech software to post here? I don’t know much(actually anything about it)

Also, is this something you always have, or get at some point in time


Edit that was wrong upon reading it a few times[/S]
 
Last edited:

Good Boy Avery

Level 28 Good Boy
The concept of aphantasia still confuses me, like i can't really wrap my brain around it. Like, when I'm imagining things it plays like a youtube video, like, right behind my eyeballs. Is aphantasia just like, the inability to do that??
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
I don't have this, and as an avid writer (not to mention someone who used imagination as a coping tool and escape since childhood), I can honestly say that this diagnosis sounds like a form of blindness I'd never once want to experience or know of. While I do think that my imagination tends to jump around from image to image without being entirely detailed (possibly due to my ADHD), it's still colorful enough and (if I try hard) vivid enough to create scenes out of. I...do not envy you, or any one else who might have aphantasia.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
The concept of aphantasia still confuses me, like i can't really wrap my brain around it. Like, when I'm imagining things it plays like a youtube video, like, right behind my eyeballs. Is aphantasia just like, the inability to do that??

Basically, yeah.
Imagery just doesn't occur whatsoever, as far as I can tell.
Think about a chair. Now clear your mind. Now pretend you were thinking about a chair when your mind was clear. That is Aphantasia.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
Wow. I didn't know such a condition existed! Are/were you visually impaired in any other way? Is it an inherited condition?

I live in my fantasies. I always have. From lucid dreaming at night to intense daydreams when I find some quiet, alone time when I'm awake, I'm nearly always building a new world in my mind full of interesting places, people and events. I can't imagine not being able to do that.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
I'm curious...if what you're saying is that you can't form "mental images" of things, do you also have trouble with object permanence ?
 

Glossolalia

just happy to be here
I don't have aphantasia, but I have a close friend who does. They also happen to be an artist- in fact, they told me that their inability to visualize things is a big part of what drove them to pursue visual art. Drawing and painting helps them "see" the things they're thinking about. If they're curious what something novel would look like (eg. a blue cat), they have to make an actual image of it because they can't "test it out" in their head like most people.

Does your experience with aphantasia have any sort of relationship with your art-making?
 

Gemi42

Trash Connoisseur
This and the fact that some people dont have an internal monologue (ie. thinking in their head) to be super fascinating!

As someone who is always in their head, be it thinking of stories, going on long winded monologues or getting caught up in wild and outlandish daydreams,
this absolutely boggles me to no end!

It fascinates me, even more, when that person is an artist! How does this impact your creative-process?
How do you make sense of what you are trying to achieve if your working on a particularily hard artpiece?
 

Stray Cat Terry

테리 / 特里 / テリー
When I imagine, I imagine them perfectly fine.

It's just that I can't even start imagining anything when it comes to making my own art and composing nowadays. I don't think this really counts as one, but maybe? I don't know...
 

LinnyChanPL

Linnie :3
@ben909

No, no, do not worry! It's an actually interesting question! So I can read and I can type as I can HEAR the voice in my head. So basically it's just my voice reading everything silently there. But I cannot imagine myself sitting next to me, reading everything aloud :D

When it comes to reading books, I do enjoy reading itself, I don't see it like a movie, I just kind of *know* what is happening? Now this part is really hard to explain but I'll try my best. For example, I've watched a lot of fantasy movies and I love fantasy books. Where in book there is an occurence similar to movie, I get the *deja vu* effect and somehow *know* how the scene should look like. So I don't see it but i KNOW it.

@Akindofsquid

Indeed. You just can't see images you created at all in your head. Some people have partial aphantasia, so they can see them like really vague.

@Raever
I do believe it all started happening when I was 9 years old and was hit by a car (DO NOT WORRY! I am almost fine to this day). I hit the ground with my head and possible caused micro-damage to my brain. Because if I concentrate hard enough, my memories from before the accident are more clear than these from after. I have no idea if I had aphantasia before it for sure as when I was really young, I was creating a lot of art from my mind. I have no idea if I could actually see it there, lol.
@Telnac
So that above should explain half of your question :) Now I've asked my mom and grandma few days ago (I was just a little bit afraid to told them that I have such thing) and they could imagine the apple on their hands really fast and really vivid. So possibly it's not inherited. Maybe my father had something like that? But heck, I haven't seen him for 23 years haha. And yep, I do wear glasses, I can't see things which are really far, they get blurry. So in polish measumerent, I have -4,5 per eye. And it slowly starts to impact my close-seeing too. I have to wear my glasses even for reading. Without them, I have to stick the book to my nose to see the letters ^^
@Kit H. Ruppell
If that means how my memories work...yep, troubles. I cannot remember stuff clearly, yet I do know what happened. If I want to recall a specific memory, I have to think of the action and then my brain tells my *hey, you did this and that*. Some memories however are really really vague. I can partially see them, like they'd be in the deepest and darkest part of my brain. So not before my own eyes. But even if the memories I see or know are vague, I cannot picture anything new by myself :)

"SO HOW THE HELL I WAS ABLE TO CREATE MY OCs?!"
@MainHammond
Now I hope some of my earlier explanation helps with understanding just a little bit :) And thank you! When it comes to my art, I always treated paper page as a medium to see things that don't exist in our reality. Now I believe that when I was self-learning how to draw manga/semi-realism etc, my brain remembered the basis so when I start with totally blank page and no idea what to draw, after one line, I start to automatically complete the picture. That's why (I believe) is because my brain is recalling specific movements and also I can see before my very eyes that something is being crated.

This also means I have the *same-face* syndrom when I don't have much references. Examples (old, but perfect for this) of how I tend to repeat the same things:
devil_mercy_by_psycholinchan_dascsrw-pre.jpg

daoajb6-411009cf-bbd8-4a0d-af01-a75f43453571.png


sydnisketch_by_psycholinchan_dagb2wh-pre.jpg

d9z00al-99d86fa0-40ed-4f15-9333-ff32aee34395.png

d9z4g6v-b147a60d-5eae-41c4-bdd9-656dd23119f0.jpg

sketch320716_by_psycholinchan_dab6ny5-pre.jpg

mermaid_by_psycholinchan_daeed9h-fullview.jpg

AND NOW THE BEST EXAMPLE, ONE OF MY FIRST ARTS OF MY OC:
chesh_by_psycholinchan_dana7m7-pre.jpg


Still don't get it? Look closely: facial features, head position, eyes style...:)


When it comes to commissions, I do reference a lot. Poses, facial structures, colors, etc etc. The more reference photos I get from client, the easier for me is to draw their characters doing specific things :)
@Glossolalia
Then I'm close to what your friend does :D And yes, art helps me see it (drawing or doing posters in Source Filmmaker). Really hard when it comes to RP tho ^^.
@Gemi42
So I think I've explained some of it earlier, if there is still something that has to be cleared out, lemme know!

For the hard-challenging piece: a lot, a lot of revisions and even more references. I had one commission that was DESCRIPTION only. Usually I don't have problems with my english and can understand a lot (learning since I was 3, haha), but that one time I had to actually copy it all to a translate. My brain couldn't cope with so much detailed description in english. But in the end, I was able to finish it and client was really happy :) They were patient with me as they were pointing out specific details and trying to be as detailed as possible, which really helped me.
@Stray Cat Terry
I think that this may be just a regular art-block? Try to create anything from scratch. Don't think, just do it. Maybe it will work like in my case, you'll start doing it automatically?


Wow, that's a lot of text! BUT Hopefully I was able to answer all of the questions! I'm still open for the discussion, I am happy you are interested in that!
 
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Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
@ben909

No, no, do not worry! It's an actually interesting question! So I can read and I can type as I can HEAR the voice in my head. So basically it's just my voice reading everything silently there. But I cannot imagine myself sitting next to me, reading everything aloud :D

When it comes to reading books, I do enjoy reading itself, I don't see it like a movie, I just kind of *know* what is happening? Now this part is really hard to explain but I'll try my best. For example, I've watched a lot of fantasy movies and I love fantasy books. Where in book there is an occurence similar to movie, I get the *deja vu* effect and somehow *know* how the scene should look like. So I don't see it but i KNOW it.

@Akindofsquid

Indeed. You just can't see images you created at all in your head. Some people have partial aphantasia, so they can see them like really vague.

@Raever
I do believe it all started happening when I was 9 years old and was hit by a car (DO NOT WORRY! I am almost fine to this day). I hit the ground with my head and possible caused micro-damage to my brain. Because if I concentrate hard enough, my memories from before the accident are more clear than these from after. I have no idea if I had aphantasia before it for sure as when I was really young, I was creating a lot of art from my mind. I have no idea if I could actually see it there, lol.
@Telnac
So that above should explain half of your question :) Now I've asked my mom and grandma few days ago (I was just a little bit afraid to told them that I have such thing) and they could imagine the apple on their hands really fast and really vivid. So possibly it's not inherited. Maybe my father had something like that? But heck, I haven't seen him for 23 years haha. And yep, I do wear glasses, I can't see things which are really far, they get blurry. So in polish measumerent, I have -4,5 per eye. And it slowly starts to impact my close-seeing too. I have to wear my glasses even for reading. Without them, I have to stick the book to my nose to see the letters ^^
@Kit H. Ruppell
If that means how my memories work...yep, troubles. I cannot remember stuff clearly, yet I do know what happened. If I want to recall a specific memory, I have to think of the action and then my brain tells my *hey, you did this and that*. Some memories however are really really vague. I can partially see them, like they'd be in the deepest and darkest part of my brain. So not before my own eyes. But even if the memories I see or know are vague, I cannot picture anything new by myself :)

"SO HOW THE HELL I WAS ABLE TO CREATE MY OCs?!"
@MainHammond
Now I hope some of my earlier explanation helps with understanding just a little bit :) And thank you! When it comes to my art, I always treated paper page as a medium to see things that don't exist in our reality. Now I believe that when I was self-learning how to draw manga/semi-realism etc, my brain remembered the basis so when I start with totally blank page and no idea what to draw, after one line, I start to automatically complete the picture. That's why (I believe) is because my brain is recalling specific movements and also I can see before my very eyes that something is being crated.

This also means I have the *same-face* syndrom when I don't have much references. Examples (old, but perfect for this) of how I tend to repeat the same things:
devil_mercy_by_psycholinchan_dascsrw-pre.jpg

daoajb6-411009cf-bbd8-4a0d-af01-a75f43453571.png


sydnisketch_by_psycholinchan_dagb2wh-pre.jpg

d9z00al-99d86fa0-40ed-4f15-9333-ff32aee34395.png

d9z4g6v-b147a60d-5eae-41c4-bdd9-656dd23119f0.jpg

sketch320716_by_psycholinchan_dab6ny5-pre.jpg

mermaid_by_psycholinchan_daeed9h-fullview.jpg

AND NOW THE BEST EXAMPLE, ONE OF MY FIRST ARTS OF MY OC:
chesh_by_psycholinchan_dana7m7-pre.jpg


Still don't get it? Look closely: facial features, head position, eyes style...:)


When it comes to commissions, I do reference a lot. Poses, facial structures, colors, etc etc. The more reference photos I get from client, the easier for me is to draw their characters doing specific things :)
@Glossolalia
Then I'm close to what your friend does :D And yes, art helps me see it (drawing or doing posters in Source Filmmaker). Really hard when it comes to RP tho ^^.
@Gemi42
So I think I've explained some of it earlier, if there is still something that has to be cleared out, lemme know!

For the hard-challenging piece: a lot, a lot of revisions and even more references. I had one commission that was DESCRIPTION only. Usually I don't have problems with my english and can understand a lot (learning since I was 3, haha), but that one time I had to actually copy it all to a translate. My brain couldn't cope with so much detailed description in english. But in the end, I was able to finish it and client was really happy :) They were patient with me as they were pointing out specific details and trying to be as detailed as possible, which really helped me.
@Stray Cat Terry
I think that this may be just a regular art-block? Try to create anything from scratch. Don't think, just do it. Maybe it will work like in my case, you'll start doing it automatically?


Wow, that's a lot of text! BUT Hopefully I was able to answer all of the questions! I'm still open for the discussion, I am happy you are interested in that!
Very informative. Thanks!
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
One of the people I knew when I was an undergraduate had aphantasia. I hadn't encountered it before and found it truly strange to see that his human experience was so vastly different to mine.
 

Seth_Wolf

Banned
Banned
Someone else I talked to a long time ago said he had something like that. But he didn't know the term, and thought that all people were like that. It was very strange to me because I'm a very visual person who likes to plan things out in my mind. I'm an engineer so I do CAD stuff, which means imagining how things should go together before I design them. I think we started discussing pirates and maps, and how I was sure everyone imagined maps and directions when they navigated, but he was like nope, you just do it. You don't imagine images in your head at all. He was probably as surprised about people visualizing things too.
 

LinnyChanPL

Linnie :3
Someone else I talked to a long time ago said he had something like that. But he didn't know the term, and thought that all people were like that. It was very strange to me because I'm a very visual person who likes to plan things out in my mind. I'm an engineer so I do CAD stuff, which means imagining how things should go together before I design them. I think we started discussing pirates and maps, and how I was sure everyone imagined maps and directions when they navigated, but he was like nope, you just do it. You don't imagine images in your head at all. He was probably as surprised about people visualizing things too.

I was surprised too! Even when playing pretend as a child I do not recall putting myself in any kind of imaginary world.
 

smolmuffin

A teeny muffin
I struggle to imagine things, I still get the input but it tends to be fuzzy/faint/fleeting/incomplete. If its something I've never seen before I tend to struggle harder. Could just be my ADHD tho, focusing has always been a struggle.
 

LinnyChanPL

Linnie :3
Thanks for sharing. It sounds interesting. What about sounds and music? Do you hear it in your mind?

I usually do, but the songs never have right lyrics or sometimes it's like me singing them. Often happens that there is only a singing voice, no background music. Weird if you think about it, haha
 

zeroPony

Well-Known Member
I usually do, but the songs never have right lyrics or sometimes it's like me singing them. Often happens that there is only a singing voice, no background music. Weird if you think about it, haha
I'm asking because I can listen or play whole song in my mind. Or just tap fingers on table. For me it's whole cool composition, but for somebody it's just annoying knocking. Maybe some people feeling something like aphantasia, but for sounds.
 

Seth_Wolf

Banned
Banned
They're now doing trials with helping people with post traumatic stress and other psychological issues try to resolve them by giving them LSD. I'm kind of curious what someone with aphantasia would experience with that. I don't do drugs, but I've been told that it allows signals in your brain to cross pathways they usually aren't supposed to, so you can "see" sounds or "smell" colors. So maybe someone with aphantasia would be able to close their eyes and "see" sounds in their mind or something.
 

Foxy Emy

Scarlett / [Selena] / <Emy>
I do suffer from aphantasia, that means I don't see any images in my mind and I don't have the ability to visualise objects in real time either.

OMG! Me too! I totally thought nobody could really visualize an object in their imagination!

The only time I ever can visualise anything with my mind is in dreams and even those, well before I knew aphantasia was a thing, are very wobbly wobbly. Like, a line, in my dreams can be both straight and curved. Which makes anything 3D super odd.

The thing is, I had no clue that when other people visualized things, they actually see them instead of just describing things with their inner monologue like I do!
 

LinnyChanPL

Linnie :3
OMG! Me too! I totally thought nobody could really visualize an object in their imagination!

The only time I ever can visualise anything with my mind is in dreams and even those, well before I knew aphantasia was a thing, are very wobbly wobbly. Like, a line, in my dreams can be both straight and curved. Which makes anything 3D super odd.

The thing is, I had no clue that when other people visualized things, they actually see them instead of just describing things with their inner monologue like I do!

Same, same, same! It's nice to meet someone else! :D
 

Seth_Wolf

Banned
Banned
OMG! Me too! I totally thought nobody could really visualize an object in their imagination!

The only time I ever can visualise anything with my mind is in dreams and even those, well before I knew aphantasia was a thing, are very wobbly wobbly. Like, a line, in my dreams can be both straight and curved. Which makes anything 3D super odd.

The thing is, I had no clue that when other people visualized things, they actually see them instead of just describing things with their inner monologue like I do!

I should add that when I (and I guess others) visualize things, it's not like I see things clearly as if they are a hologram floating in front of me or a picture on a screen. It's also somewhat... How to describe it... Like you're reaching for an image in your mind and it's hard to grasp, where if you don't concentrate it will slip away. Is not perfectly clear either. Like a voice you hear in your head but not clearly enough to recognize it. If you stop concentrating thinking about it, poof, it's gone.
 

Filter

ɹǝʇlᴉℲ
Interesting... a couple of my siblings may have a variant of this. They primarily think in words, whereas I primarily think in pictures. Whether or not I have a word for something, I can usually picture it in vivid detail. My inner narrator simply builds models and describes things rather than using the official words. My brother and sister approach things the other way. When learning the word for something, they're more likely to learn about the thing, whereas for me it's more like giving a name to something or suggesting something that assembles itself visually in my mind's eye. This is especially true for things like physics and math. Although I'm not necessarily great at remembering factoids and formulas, I can easily envision and explain how things work. 3D rotations and mentally unfolding things comes naturally to me. Not that I can't also learn from words and other symbols, but when I do my mind is generating multidimensional objects or diagrams. In some ways, this is less efficient than simply recalling words, but it also allows me to extrapolate more from less and more easily see connections. Some refer to people like me as visual-spatial learners.

When it comes to fictional characters like furries, I can easily envision what they might be like in the real world, or if our world was more like thiers. My imagination is awash in imagery. It's actually hard for me to imagine what it's like to not visualize things.
 
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