Photographic Memory?
 
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  1. #1
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    Question Photographic Memory?

    Hi everyone. Please Help...

    I have a friend (best friend) who is an amazing artist, and I am
    now second in the "best artist of the school" category.
    He can pretty much draw like proffesional comic artists, without using
    any reference. The only thing I have over him is "lettering".
    See the thing is, is that he has used reference his whole life, looking
    at pictures since he was little (he is now 19, I am 18 ). He says it's
    photographic memory; that he can think of a picture in his head and
    put it down on the paper do to using reference in his earlier years I suspect....
    I always thought using any type of reference, tracing, etc. was
    cheating, and not original....
    Is using Reference that important?
    What should I do now?
    Is there such thing as Photographic Memory such as this?
    Thank you for your time and answers.

    Last edited by Shrew11; September 22nd, 2007 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Realized there was more needed.....
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrew11 View Post
    I always thought using any type of reference, tracing, etc. was
    cheating....
    Which page on "The Official Art Rulebook" was this from?

    Last edited by Flake; September 23rd, 2007 at 09:14 AM.
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  4. #3
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    I think it's just that he remembers how things are supposed to look. Since he has done things from pictures for so long, he probably just gets the jist of things.
    I could be wrong, but oh well.

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    There are no rules in art, just like their is no crying in baseball.

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  6. #5
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    There is no cheating in art world unless you take someone else's picture and put your name on it.

    Last edited by Shadowwing; October 25th, 2007 at 10:00 PM.
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  7. #6
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    Shadowwing... you are not describing a photographic memory. You are describing a memory. Your post contradicts itself.

    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


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  8. #7
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    I know now it's not cheating, but when I was just a youngster I
    always thought it was, which is why my artistic ability isn't as good
    as it could have been......Any recommendations on where to go from now?

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  9. #8
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    Any recommendations on where to go from now?
    Do still lives. Study anatomy. Take a figure drawing class. Do studies from reference. Do studies from life.
    And post some art, so people can give you more specific advice.

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Shadowwing... you are not describing a photographic memory. You are describing a memory. Your post contradicts itself.

    kev
    I think so, too...
    Photographic memory is very rare, and I would not think it was a curse.
    Photographic memory doesn't necessarily apply to images, as the name suggests, but it means they could read, say, read an article and then recite the whole, word for word, from memory.

    Last edited by HunterKiller_; September 23rd, 2007 at 06:55 AM.
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  11. #10
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    Seeing a memory perfectly in your mind and being able to perfectly convey it on paper are two different things.
    I'm able to do entire dialogues of scrubs series, doesn't mean I can use that skill in a conversation. (people just look at you with their heads tilted at an angle).

    What your friend did was so much life drawing that his mind remembers the flow of drawing a human body so well that he can immediatly see any errors when and if he makes them.

    He isn't in fact consulting his memory in any of this matter, just his gut feeling.

    People use the term photographic memory way too easy these days.


    Now to get where he is, about 20 hours of modeldrawing a week will get you there.
    Good luck.

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  12. #11
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    drawing.pdf - page 28 ("Memory Training For Painters" by Richard Lack)
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showpos...95&postcount=1

    There are some exercises for visual memory. I started practising them every day but I think it's too early to say that they work.

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    I wouldn't put too much importance on a photographic memory, I'm sure it can be real handy, but there are plenty of other aspects in art that are probably more important. And somehow, I'm a tad sceptical about him being professional quality.


    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholie View Post
    What your friend did was so much life drawing that his mind remembers the flow of drawing a human body so well that he can immediatly see any errors when and if he makes them.
    Hmm.. that's quite the assumption to make, since he mentioned his friend was using pictures as a reference his whole life.

    My Self-Portraits

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  14. #13
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    Well he may not be able to ink professionally, but when it comes to simply drawing, he doesn't usually make much mistakes. I'll post some of his stuff and my stuff in time... If any of you would like to see.
    Maybe I'm wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Shadowwing... you are not describing a photographic memory. You are describing a memory. Your post contradicts itself.

    Perhaps I have erred, so my apologies. But it does come close. I'm just able to retain far more information and images than most people can. You are right...there is a difference between "true" photographic memory and not. People with photographic memories are able to glance at an image just once, and describe it/or draw it down to every detail. There are definitely people who do have true photographic memories such as this...I recently saw a video of a man with autism, who was able to draw entire city in incredible detail, after seeing it once from helicopter.

    Last edited by Shadowwing; September 23rd, 2007 at 05:34 PM.
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  16. #15
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    http://youtube.com/watch?v=95L-zmIBGd4 this is of tokyo he did

    there is another one of rome he did on there

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  17. #16
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    I also have a slight 'photographic memory' and will draw everything from my head. But recently I've realised it's just not good enough as my drawings don't have absolutely perfect proportions as they would if I copied off something... but thats what I'm unsure of, I feel like I'm 'cheating' in a way when I copy poses to use in my art, but is that ok? How many other people copy or even go as far as tracing a picture to use in their own? Like recently I drew a picture of a game character and copied the body of a model so that she looked good, then added her features like clothes etc over it, but I feel like thats somehow wrong.. =/

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  18. #17
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    This isn't going to add anything to the discussion, but I thought it was interesting:

    I remember seeing a news report once about a savant who was able to exactly draw anything he saw from memory. He was like one of those portrait machines you see in the mall. I think he lived in London.

    Remember, just because you have their attention doesn't mean you have their respect-Dale Gribble (from King of the Hill)
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  19. #18
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    Maybe you're thinking of the guy in 1337's link above?

    He does a drawing of the entire city of Tokyo after something like a 45 minute helicopter ride. Lots of the buildings even had the correct number of windows.

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