Is there a term for this?

4:24 PM, Saturday April 10th 2021

The ability to picture an image clearly in your head until you go to draw it, and then as soon as you start trying to put it on paper, the image in your head distorts and then fades away, and you can't get it back. Does this happen to a lot of people? Is there a word for it? Ways to overcome it?

2 users agree
8:07 PM, Saturday April 10th 2021

Some people are really good at remembering visually some aren't. There probably are terms for that but it's really just that people have dominant senses or ways of thinking.

Try visualising onto the paper rather than in your head may be one option to help improve.

You have to push through these sorts of obstacles with deliberate practice. Hard to start with but it becomes easier and easier over time.

2 users agree
9:48 PM, Saturday April 10th 2021

To add to what Scoobyclub said, Uncomfortable has recently published a video in collaboration with Proko that talks about this issue and how he worked around it.

10:13 PM, Saturday April 10th 2021
edited at 10:14 PM, Apr 10th 2021

Ooh, that is recent. Will watch that later.

edited at 10:14 PM, Apr 10th 2021
12:11 AM, Sunday April 11th 2021

I don't think aphantasia is what I'm talking about exactly -- I have a vivid visual imagination.

...Until I try to draw. The image I dream up in my head only disappears when I put pencil to paper, whereas I believe aphantasia is never being able to imagine the images to begin with.

His video is interesting, though.

7:05 AM, Sunday April 11th 2021
edited at 9:15 PM, Apr 11th 2021

Did you know how to draw what you saw in your mind or you weren't familiar with those subjects?

You could try to write down notes of the scene or block it immediately on paper with big, simple shapes as placeholders. Maybe this would help your brain to go back and forth between drawing and visualizing.

edited at 9:15 PM, Apr 11th 2021
3:37 PM, Sunday April 11th 2021

I suspect the same approach will benefit you regardless of the exact nature of your current issues.

12:36 PM, Friday April 16th 2021

All good points. I take it this is not the norm then.

0 users agree
11:02 AM, Sunday April 18th 2021
edited at 11:18 AM, Apr 18th 2021

I too have the same problem

I have a very wild visual imagination but it's only when I'm about to sleep on my bed

but when I want to draw

& I have my pen on paper all I see is just blank

I still don't have a solution

but I have some methods I'm trying to use to fix this

  1. Just scribbling in lines & shapes until something happens (either I'll see what I'm looking for or something completely new to draw) this is called practicing pareidolia

  2. I try (when I have the clear image in my head) to draw it without any pen or paper all completely inside my head

by breaking it into lines & shapes turning it in 3D space & basically doing a study of that thing inside my head & trying to draw it line by line inside my head

so when I actually have a paper in front of me all I have to do is repeat what I just did in my head having a better idea where to start & what to do

  1. maybe I don't have a solid idea of what I want to draw is so I just use reference images of whatever resembles what I already wanted to draw

just to aid the process

  1. I look at more images of what I want to draw whatever that might be

doing purely visual studies (no pen no paper just my eyes & a hand drawing on air) to enhance the vividness of my visual library

  1. maybe you just forget the thing you're trying to draw

like when you enter a room & forget why you entered the room in the first place

a method to refresh your and try to remember is to repeat what you just did from before you got the idea

example: I was doing (x) then I got up to do (x)

walking by (x) and getting distracted by (x) for an embarrassing 2 minutes

at which point I unlocked my phone & opened (x) app and that's when I saw (x) which reminded me of (x) and that gave me the idea to draw (x)...

and you get the idea.

  1. one last method is to just start drawing

it doesn't matter how or where just start

it might come back to you, it might not, it might look bad in the end or not.

if it looks bad then redraw it again having your visual aid & experience of the first.

hope I helped in some way or another

edited at 11:18 AM, Apr 18th 2021
2:19 AM, Thursday April 22nd 2021

This is interesting, thanks. The "just scribble until something happens" is typically what I end up doing and nets me a whole lot of frustration and not a lot of progress.

I have found (weirdly) that if I listen to music while drawing (certain music evokes very strong visual imagery for me when I am not drawing), I can "hold on" to the image just a little bit longer before it slips away (sort of like holding on to cupped water running between your fingers) and can very quickly get down the major shapes etc before it falls apart entirely. As long as I can get enough down on the paper in time, then I can just use the image on the paper to "revive" the image I had before to an extent since I am looking at it.

I'll have to try some of what you suggested. Looking at other images of the thing I want to draw actually makes it worse sometimes, because the thing I am looking at completely erases my own version that I had in my head before. I am generally speaking about things that are already in my visual library -- I can still certainly draw a generic version of that thing without a visual aid since it's in my library, but any kind of unique variation that I had previously envisioned just sorta dies.

Best of luck to you as well.

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