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Famous People Who Use Their Synesthesia In Their Art

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May 31, 2021
04:00 A.M.
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Artists have used their ability to create things that will leave you in awe of their creativity. They draw inspiration from many things, but some rely on the sight of sound, also known as synesthesia!

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Synesthesia is a unique ability to process the stimuli you receive differs from the original stimulus. It comes in different forms; some people can hear colors, others can feel sounds, and some can taste words and shapes.

Only a few people in society possess the power of interpreting stimuli in a different form. This is why most people with synesthesia become artists and create masterpieces with their unique ability!

1. Duke Ellington

(Original Caption) Duke Ellington (Edward Kennedy; 1889-1974), American composer and arranger, at the keyboard. Half-length photograph, 1910's.

(Original Caption) Duke Ellington (Edward Kennedy; 1889-1974), American composer and arranger, at the keyboard. Half-length photograph, 1910's.

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Quite popular in the jazz genre of music, Duke Ellington experienced synesthesia and even described what it was like. He compared the notes played by members of his jazz band to different colors, even if they were the same note!

“When I hear sustained musical tones, I see just about the same colors that you do, but I see them in textures” Duke Ellington Sweet Man: The Real Duke Ellington.

2. Billy Joel

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The Piano Man, Billy Joel experiences synesthesia with sound. To him, colors change with the song’s tempo, and he’s even assigned colors to the letters of the alphabet!

“Certain lyrics in some songs I’ve written, I have to follow a vowel color." Billy Joel

3. Vladamir Nabokov

(Original Caption) Vladimir Nabokov (born 1899), author of

(Original Caption) Vladimir Nabokov (born 1899), author of

The Russian author of the famous work Lolita sees color when he hears the sounds of letters from the alphabet! Seeing what you hear in an array of colors would brighten up anyone’s world, especially as you’re learning the alphabet!

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4. Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (French, 1853–1890), Self-Portrait, 1887, oil on board, 41 X 32.5 Cm (16.1 X 12.8 in), Art Institute of Chicago. (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

Vincent van Gogh (French, 1853–1890), Self-Portrait, 1887, oil on board, 41 X 32.5 Cm (16.1 X 12.8 in), Art Institute of Chicago. (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

The famous painter saw the gift of synesthesia as more of an inconvenience he had to suffer! He was labeled as insane when his piano teacher took note of his associations with music and color and didn’t want to teach him any longer.

5. Chali XCX

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Charli XCX, like many other musicians, interprets music in color, and of course, like many musicians, she has a preference for the colors and sounds of music! She has a dislike for music which she sees as green, brown, and yellow.

This unique perception of color isn’t just experienced by artists; you might even know someone who experiences a bit of synesthesia themselves. Maybe they just haven’t heard of the phenomenon yet and don’t realize their unique ability!

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