I’ve always had a connection to color in words. Color keeps me organized, and it’s easier for me to differentiate various readings. While I was in grad school, we had a project that involved fairy tale princess (for another time). I wrote the princesses’ names in different colors, and when someone asked why, I said ‘because that’s how I see it’. She asked ‘do you have synesthesia?’ Did I?
First of all, what even is synesthesia?
Apparently, it’s a brain thing where you experience one of your senses leading to automatic experiences in a secondary sense. “Simply put, when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time.” (source) Think back to the movie Ratatouille. Remy can hear music and see swirls of color when he tastes something. That’s a form of synesthesia.
While I cannot say for surety whether or not I have synesthesia, I do believe I have a form called Grapheme-color synesthesia, which is when letters and numbers are associated to specific colors. I associate words and numbers with color in nearly everything. That’s why Snow White was a pale purple and Cinderella was yellow.
The problem becomes that colors change for me. The word ‘apple’, purple when I look at it now, might become more blue later in life. The month of March used to be brown before becoming a pale orange.
I don’t know.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is I saw something on TikTok (surprise, surprise) when someone with Chromesthesia (when you see colors as you hear sounds) painted what a song looked like. Their username is jurisprune, and it’s fascinating to see.
So, I tried it in my own way.
I had Vladimir chose a song, and I painted as I read the lyrics (while listening to the song because I love music). The song he chose was ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ by The Beatles.
Here’s how it went:
I gathered up most of my basic colors and printed out the lyrics. Vladimir and I underlined some key words to hit in the painting. As for the painting itself…
Guys, we all know I’m not the best at painting, but I still had a good time with this. It’s not perfect, and there are only certain aspects I actually like. But this is the song as I read it. I concentrated a lot more than I thought I would. And at least I tried.
Enjoy and celebrate your quirks and special talents!