What is Chromesthesia?


Chromesthesia is a weird phenomenon to explain.

There are two words that I want make sure people remember: chromesthesia and synesthesia.

Chromesthesia? Synesthesia? Chromesthetic Art? Synesthetic Art? Chromesthete? Synesthete? WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN??!!!!

To explain Chromesthesia, first I have to explain the umbrella term; Synesthesia.  Synesthesia is (according to Google and a lot of other sources) a psychological condition in which the production of a sense impression relates to one sense by stimulation of another sense.

If I add some words in the definition, it will better explain what Chromesthesia is: a psychological condition in which the production of a sense impression (painting) relates to one sense (sight/color) by stimulation of another sense (sound/music).

So, to make it easy, me being considered a Chromesthetic Abstract Artist means "I'm an abstract artist, but I paint to sound."

Chromesthesia, or Chromatic Synesthesia, is specifically SOUND-COLOR synesthesia.  This does mean that there are other types of Synesthesia out there, like number/letter/word-color (Grapheme-Color), or word-taste (Lexical-Gustatory), among others.

There is one other person I've seen that has Chromesthesia, and that is Melissa S. McCracken.  Here is a link to her website, where she explains what synesthesia is for her.

Like Melissa, I paint to music more often than normal every day sounds.  For example, one painting I produced called "THIS MUST BE MY DREAM" is one based from the song of the same title by The 1975.  The song itself is a up-beat eclectic Alternative Pop song that had a vibrant sound.  The colors I "saw" were bright blues, pinks, and greens, rich yellows and purples, and the standard black and white [this is mostly because of one phrase used in the song "I personify the lack of freedom in your life…"].  When I heard the song for the first time, I kept seeing a splattered paint effect in my mind, almost like the drum had paint on it and each hit on the snare drum brought up a new color, which is reason for the splattered ink.  The vocals [by Matty Healy] and the saxophone, that is added into the song, created a smoother effect; so here, I was working with texture, too.  Each song I listen to has a different color palette or texture; it doesn't matter what the genre is.

This is what Chromesthesia is for me; it's a balance between my first love of music, and my current love of painting.

I have created two playlists on my Spotify account dedicated to the songs I've painted to within the last 2 years.  Make sure to check them out.