Positive autistic traits are often overlooked as autism is usually seen as a disability, a problem, or a burden. Autism is a developmental ‘disorder’ that affects how a person communicates, interacts, and perceives the world, but autism is not a disease that needs to be cured; it’s a spectrum of diverse and unique ways of being human. And autistic people like me have many positive traits that not only enrich our lives but also the lives of others – if we are allowed to be ourselves.
There are a lot of negative stereotypes and misconceptions about autism – I shared them before I began my research – and I hope that this post, by celebrating the strengths and gifts of autistic people, will help to cut through those stereotypes.
Remember, though, that every autistic person is different. We don’t all have these traits to the same degree. The examples mentioned here are mostly of individuals with low support needs, (level one) and their achievements are extreme enough to make the person publicly notable. For most autistic people the difficulties we have in interacting with a world made for neurotypical people often prevents us from using our abilities to their fullest. This is why businesses would benefit by making the kind of simple allowances needed by level one autistic people so they can thrive in the workplace.
Creativity and Originality
One of the positive traits of autism is creativity and originality. Autistic people often have a different way of thinking, seeing, and doing things. They can come up with novel and innovative ideas, solutions, and perspectives. They can also express themselves in artistic and imaginative ways, such as music, art, writing, or coding.
For example, some of the famous and successful people who are or were autistic include Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Andy Warhol, Satoshi Tajiri, and Temple Grandin. They all contributed to the fields of science, art, music, and technology with their creative and original works.
Passion and Focus
Another positive trait of autism is passion and focus. Autistic people often have intense and special interests that they pursue with enthusiasm and dedication. They can spend hours learning, researching, practicing, or talking about their passions. If they are also gifted, then they can become experts or masters in their fields of interest and share their knowledge and skills with others.
For example, some of the autistic people who have excelled in their passions include Tim Burton, who is a famous film director and producer; Daryl Hannah, who is a successful actress and environmental activist; and Daniel Tammet, who is a writer and polyglot who can speak 11 languages.
My personal passion led me to spend 20 years in the performing arts, followed by 5 years fulltime studying editing and writing, and another 5 to finish writing 10 books. Now my passion project is Psychemagination. And I have done a huge amount of quality work in just a few months.
Honesty and Loyalty
Another positive trait of autism is honesty and loyalty. Autistic people often value truth and integrity, and they tend to say what they mean and mean what they say. They can also be loyal and faithful friends, partners, and family members, who stick by their loved ones through thick and thin.
For example, some of the autistic people who have shown honesty and loyalty include Greta Thunberg, who is a climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Anthony Hopkins, who is an Oscar-winning actor and philanthropist; and Carly Fleischmann, who is a non-verbal autistic author and talk show host.
Sensitivity and Empathy
Another positive trait of autism is sensitivity and empathy. Autistic people often have a heightened sense of awareness and perception, and they can experience emotions deeply and intensely – I certainly do. They can also empathize and care for others, especially those who are marginalized, oppressed, or suffering.
I literally cannot watch a movie where someone is torturing someone else. It makes me feel physically ill. And watching the news reports is a challenge that often results in tears and many deep breaths, followed by sending healing light to those who are suffering. Many autistic people would simply not watch, but I have a way to not only handle it, but also to feel that my visual prayer might help on some level.
Some of the well-known autistic people who have demonstrated sensitivity and empathy include Temple Grandin, who is an animal scientist and advocate; Heather Kuzmich, who is a model and artist; and Naoki Higashida, who is a non-verbal autistic author and poet.
A Fierce Sense of Justic
One of the positive traits of autistic people is a fierce sense of justice. Autistic people often have a strong moral compass, and they care deeply about fairness, equality, and human rights. They can stand up for themselves and others, and they can challenge injustice and oppression in the world.
As a child I always stepped between bullies and their victims, to protect the victim. I even pushed one bully over – and got the strap for it. But I had good enough language skills that my lectures were often feared enough to make them walk away when I turned up.
Some of the autistic activists who have fought for justice include Lydia X. Z. Brown, who is a disability rights lawyer and organizer; Ari Ne’eman, who is a co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network; and Judy Singer, who is a sociologist and the coiner of the term “neurodiversity”.
Memorising and Learning Information Quickly
Another positive trait of autistic people is memorising and learning information quickly. Autistic people often have a remarkable ability to store and recall information, especially in their areas of interest. They can absorb and retain facts, details, and data with ease and accuracy. They can also learn new skills and languages rapidly and efficiently.
Some of the autistic people who have shown amazing memory and learning abilities include Kim Peek, who was the inspiration for the movie Rain Man and who could read and remember thousands of books; Stephen Wiltshire, who is an artist who can draw detailed and accurate cityscapes from memory; and Jacob Barnett, who is a mathematician and physicist who taught himself calculus at age 10. This is autism and a high level of giftedness in action. Such individuals are called twice exceptional – gifted and autistic.
I’m not at that level, but during my study of writing and editing, I didn’t do a university course because it wouldn’t be tailored to my interests, and I learn better and faster by directing my own learning. I remember and synthesize information quickly and am skilled at evaluating examples and my personal experience in terms of my learned knowledge.
Another positive trait of autistic people is logical thinking ability. Autistic people often have a rational and analytical mind, and they can use logic and reason to solve problems and make decisions. They can also spot patterns, connections, and inconsistencies in information, and they can apply rules and principles to various situations.
All of which makes me a very good editor. The best proofreader I know is also autistic.
Some of the autistic people who have excelled in logical thinking include Alan Turing, who is considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence; Paul Dirac, who is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and one of the founders of quantum mechanics; Albert Einstein, who is widely regarded as the greatest physicist of all time; Isaac Newton, who is one of the most influential scientists in history; and Ada Lovelace, who is the first computer programmer.
An Extraordinarily Good Memory
Another positive trait of autistic people is having an extraordinarily good memory. Autistic people often have a phenomenal memory, and they can remember facts, dates, events, and experiences for a long period of time. They can also use their memory to enhance their learning and performance, and they can impress and entertain others with their recall skills.
I’m not impressive in this area, but I have a good enough memory that I coasted through high school doing a minimum of study. I can see in my mind the page in a textbook with the information I need to answer a question and literally read the words from the image of the page in my mind. Sort of a photographic memory, but specifically for words, images and diagrams. I’m a complete wash out when it comes to remembering numbers. This is the uneven development common in all neurodivergent people. we can have a high level of excellent in some areas and relatively poor skills elsewhere, and which areas we’re good at are different for different individuals.
Some of the autistic people who have demonstrated extraordinary memory include Daniel Tammet, who is a writer and polyglot who can speak 11 languages and who memorized pi to 22,514 digits; Jill Price, who is one of the first people diagnosed with hyperthymesia, a condition that allows her to remember every day of her life; and Orlando Serrell, who is a savant who acquired the ability to perform complex calculations and remember calendar dates after a head injury.
Being Precise and Detail Orientated
Another positive trait of autistic people is being precise and detail orientated. Autistic people often have a keen eye for detail, and they can notice and appreciate the subtleties and nuances of things. They can also be precise and accurate in their work and communication, and they can avoid errors and mistakes. Not only do autistic people find it virtually impossible to lie, but they will also make sure their knowledge and understanding is correct before sharing information with others. I couldn’t bear to discover that I might have inadvertently added to misinformation, so I don’t speak of anything of which I am not sure of the facts.
Some of the autistic people who have shown precision and attention to detail include Donna Williams, who is an author and artist who created intricate and colourful paintings; Vernon L. Smith, who is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and experimentalist who developed precise methods for studying human behaviour; and Dawn Prince-Hughes, who is an anthropologist and primatologist who observed and documented the social behaviour of gorillas.
For me, this shows up in my attention to detail in editing. I find it extremely difficult to just do an edit where the author doesn’t want their sentences improved. This is because I am so aware of what is needed to make the prose more readable and engaging – I see the weaknesses in the writing beyond grammar, spelling and punctation – that it’s almost painful for me not to improve it. Hence, I prefer line editing to copy editing.
And here in Pyschemagination, it shows in how I work with the art generator to get the exact image for which I’m looking, and then the amount of time I spend animating the images and combining them to create the videos. If after I’ve published them, I find I’ve missed one small thing, I can’t stand not to do it again.
Exceptional Honesty and Reliability
Another positive trait of autistic people is exceptional honesty and reliability. Autistic people often value truth and integrity, and they tend to say what they mean and mean what they say. They can also be reliable and trustworthy friends, partners, and colleagues, who keep their promises and commitments.
An autistic person would never rip you off! Integrity is very important to me in everything I do. But the honesty and directness of our communication style, can, however, be a problem, as people can see it as being terse or rude. And they often do!
Some of the autistic people who have shown honesty and reliability include Anthony Hopkins, who is an Oscar-winning actor and philanthropist who has been open and candid about his autism; Daryl Hannah, who is a successful actress and environmental activist who has been loyal and faithful to her causes and friends; and John Nash, who is a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician and economist who overcame his mental illness and returned to his work and family.
Autism is Not a Defect, it’s a Difference
Autism is not a defect or a flaw. It is a difference and a diversity. And there are many positive traits that autistic people have that can benefit themselves and society. Autistic people are creative, original, passionate, focused, honest, loyal, sensitive, and empathetic. They are not less than, but different from. And they deserve respect, acceptance, and appreciation for who they are.
I hope this blog post has helped you to see the positive side of autism, and to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the autistic community. Thank you for reading.
I used the Bing AI to speed up the research process on this blog by asking it to find sources of information and examples of famous people who exhibit these traits. Though assisted by AI, I have edited the text in detail, rewritten much of it and added my own personal experience. Sharing this point is my honesty in action!
Do you know anyone with autism, or are you autistic? If so, do you see these qualities in them or yourself?
This Autism Awareness Centre article by Maureen Bennie was the main reference. She is the director of the Autism Awareness Centre and a parent of two children with autism. She lists and explains some of the positive traits of autism and gives examples of famous and successful people who have them.
This website by The Spectrum, which is an online platform for autistic people and their families. It has a section on autism and its strengths and gives some examples of autistic people who have excelled in their passions.
This blog post by My Aspergers Child, which is a resource for parents and teachers of children and teens with Asperger’s and high-functioning autism. It lists 50 positive characteristics of ASD level 1 and explains why they are beneficial.
This article by Cooper et al. (2020), which is a scientific study on the effects of autistic identity and community on self-esteem and well-being. It shows how autistic people who have a positive view of autism and a strong sense of affiliation with other autistic people have improved psychological outcomes.
"We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." - Albert Schweitzer
Level one autism is a subsection of autism spectrum disorder. Autism is called a ‘complex neurodevelopmental disorder’ but put more simply it means is that my brain is wired differently to neurotypical people. I think and perceive things differently to neurotypical people, and though you don’t see it, I find living in this complex and noisy world difficult. Autism is a spectrum of different traits and different levels of support needs. I may be relatively ‘functional’ in one area and have a lot of difficulty in another.
Diagnostically, people with autism are identified as having different levels of support needs depending on how incompatible their autistic traits are with neurotypical expectations and how much support they need in their daily life. The levels range from least to most incompatible.
If you think I don’t ‘look’ autistic or don’t ‘seem’ autistic, it’s probably because your idea of autism (as mine was before I started investigating) is based on level three autism, where the support needs are more obvious.
This level describes people who do not need a lot of support. People with level 1 autism may have a hard time communicating with neurotypical people, including their peers. For example, they may not say the right thing at the right time or be able to read social cues and body language. Adults with level one autism typically avoid social interaction and have few friends. This is me.
I constantly make social blunders despite having learned ‘social skills’ and having a lifetime of practice. I know what I am supposed to do, and I try to do the right thing, but my mouth opens and out comes something that I think is completely relevant to the conversation, but others find inappropriate. They look at me sideways and think I’m weird. It’s true, I am. It’s called autism.
You may think this is just being shy or awkward around people, but I am not shy or awkward. I am confident and at home in myself, I just communicate differently to ‘normal’ people, and I find it a real struggle to communicate in a way that is compatible with how neurotypical people interact. In social situations, I constantly battle my instincts. For example, I naturally get straight to the point, which others find abrupt or even terse. I can’t hack bullshit on any level and will call it out, and I find it really hard to not overshare.
You don’t see me as needing support because I’m really good at masking my autistic traits – unless you know me well – and I’ve created a life for myself where my special needs are met. Primarily by where I live (in a rainforest), the flexibility of the work I do (self-employed editor/author/publisher), and a daily routine of creative expression (see this website and my Etsy shop), yoga and meditation.
People diagnosed with level 2 autism have a harder time masking their traits than those diagnosed with level 1 and may find it hard to communicate or socialize in ways that are accepted or understood by neurotypical society.
People with level 3 diagnoses need the most support. People in this category will have many of the same traits as those with levels 1 and 2 but to a greater degree. It often means the autistic person is nonverbal or has very limited speech and restricted social communication skills.
Why I Don’t ‘look’ Autistic
Autism is an invisible condition, meaning that it cannot be discerned solely through physical appearance. Unfortunately, society often holds preconceived notions about what autism ‘looks like’. But autism is a diverse condition, and individuals with Level One Autism may not exhibit the same noticeable traits that are often associated with more severe forms of autism. While some individuals may exhibit certain behaviours or characteristics associated with autism, others may not.
Added to that, adults, particularly adult women, have learned to mask their autistic traits well. But that doesn’t mean that that masking isn’t a struggle. For instance, it can take me up to 2 hours to write an email to a difficult client because I have to be so careful to soften my communication so as not to appear terse. And writing such an email is intense and exhausting.
Myth vs. Fact: Common Misconceptions about Autism
There are several common myths surrounding autism that contribute to the misconception that one can identify autism solely based on appearance or the behaviour you can see.
Myth: Autism has visible characteristics.
Fact: Autism does not have any physical markers. It is a neurological difference that affects cognitive and social behaviour, and these differences are often masked so they are not noticeable, especially in level one autism.
Myth: Individuals with autism lack empathy.
Fact: People with autism are highly empathetic, so much so that we get overwhelmed by our ability to feel the pain of others. Often the way we handle this overload of emotional pain is to shut it off, to ignore it, and that comes across to others as a lack of empathy. If we start to express it, it may come out as a flood of emotion that no one can handle.
Myth: Autism is caused by vaccines.
Fact: Extensive research has proven that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Autism is a complex condition with genetic and environmental factors at play.
Exploring Level One Autism
Autism is often referred to as a spectrum disorder because it encompasses a wide range of abilities and challenges. Level one autism, previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome, falls on the milder end of the spectrum. Individuals with level one autism typically have good language skills but may struggle with social interactions and understanding non-verbal cues.
It is essential to note that the challenges faced by individuals with level one autism may not be immediately apparent. They may have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversations, interpreting sarcasm or jokes, or understanding social norms. These challenges can often lead to feelings of anxiety and isolation.
The Challenges of Level One Autism
While level one autism may not be immediately visible, it does present unique challenges for individuals. One of the primary difficulties is navigating social situations and forming meaningful connections with others. The struggle to understand social cues and norms can make it challenging to build and maintain friendships or engage in group settings.
Additionally, individuals with autism may face sensory sensitivities (bright lights and loud sounds, for instance) or difficulties with executive functioning. These challenges can manifest in various ways, such as difficulty with time management, organization, or coping with sensory stimuli like loud noises or bright lights.
The Hidden Struggles: Masking and Camouflaging in Level One Autism
One aspect of level one autism that often goes unnoticed is the phenomenon of masking and camouflaging. Masking refers to the act of concealing one’s autistic traits in social situations, while camouflaging involves imitating or copying neurotypical behaviours to fit in with others.
Many individuals with level one autism engage in masking and camouflaging as a way to navigate social expectations and avoid judgment or rejection. While these strategies may help individuals blend in, they come at a cost. Masking and camouflaging can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, leading to increased anxiety, depression, and a loss of self-identity. (I avoid this by minimising my involvement in social situations and knowing and accepting myself for who I am.)
Recognizing the hidden struggles of masking and camouflaging is crucial in providing support and understanding for individuals with level one autism. It is essential to create an environment where we feel safe and accepted for who we are, without the need to hide or conform.
Personally, I don’t camouflage – I accepted years ago that I was weird and would never ‘fit in’ – but I do mask in social situations because it’s necessary in order to communicate with neurotypical people.
Of course, there is more to it than I can cover in this article. In order to be diagnosed with autism you have to meet certain very specific criteria covering many different traits and behaviours (having one or two of them doesn’t make you autistic), and it is a very costly and time-consuming process. Adults like me who have learned to live with their challenges have nothing except surety to gain from having a formal diagnosis. But we could lose thousands of dollars if the assessors aren’t up to date with the latest research into adult autism (especially as it relates to woman). For this reason – and because no one wants to be autistic – self-diagnosis is accepted in the neurodivergent community. Psychology professionals will always say you should get a formal diagnosis – but people who find it hard to hold down a job simply don’t have the money. There are a great many self-diagnostic tools available with many adult-autism, diagnostic questionnaires available on the internet (look for the more comprehensive ones).
After coming up high in a multitude of self-diagnostic tests, I decided I wanted the opinion of a psychologist, and though I didn’t go for a formal diagnosis, after taking me through questionnaires and much talking over several intense sessions, she said she was pretty sure I was autistic, had ADHD and was gifted as well. I didn’t expect all that, but the more I learn, the more I realise that I do fit the criteria. It took me a while, and a lot of self-examination to finally accept that she was right. But people don’t ‘see’ me as autistic, and that’s because they have a stereotypical view of what autism is, and because I’ve learned to hide it.
Dispelling Stereotypes: Embracing Neurodiversity
Stereotypes surrounding autism can be harmful and perpetuate misconceptions. To truly understand and embrace level one autism, we must dispel these stereotypes and embrace neurodiversity.
Neurodiversity recognizes that neurological differences, including autism, are natural variations of the human experience. These differences should be respected, valued, and celebrated. By embracing neurodiversity, we can create a society that appreciates the unique strengths and perspectives that individuals with level one autism bring.
Conclusion: Redefining Autism
The perception that one can identify level one autism solely based on appearance or perceived behaviour is a myth that needs to be debunked. Autism is a complex spectrum disorder, and individuals with level one autism may not exhibit the more visible traits people often associate with autism. In other words, just because we can speak and engage with others and don’t spend all day rocking in a corner doesn’t mean we aren’t autistic.
Understanding and supporting individuals with autism requires recognizing our unique challenges, such as difficulties in social interactions and the hidden struggles of masking and camouflaging. It’s also important to recognise the value our unique perspective and ways of thinking bring to society. Don’t we need people with a fierce sense of justice and fairness who can cut through the bullshit? Well, I’m autistic, so it’s not surprising that I think so.
And a world that doesn’t overwhelm autistic people would be a better world for everyone.
It’s crucial that we redefine our understanding of autism through education and awareness. By doing so, we can break the stigma and misunderstandings around autism and create a society that celebrates the diversity of human experience.
Support self-awareness by buying a Christmas present? Honestly? Really? How does that work? It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but here’s the logic. Psychemagination is more than just a video art gallery combined with a self-discovery memoir, and it’s more than a modern take on the hero’s journey. Yes, it is all those things, but it’s also designed to inspire people to reflect on their own self and undertake their own journey of self-examination, which leads to … yeah, you got it, greater self-awareness. And doesn’t the world need more self-awareness? I figure that whatever we can do to encourage people to look at themselves is a good thing.
But it costs money to run this website to host the book, and I’m not flush with dollars, so I’ve put some of the designs I’ve come up with to illustrate the story onto goods that you can buy, and my percentage of the sales contributes to – you guessed it – encouraging self-awareness through the art and story on Psychemagination.
Here are just some of the things you can buy in my shop on Redbubble. Some of these designs you won’t have seen here yet because the pages haven’t been released.
At last Kris has finished the music for the world of Reflecting on Psychemagination, and I’ve just uploaded the last of the videos. If you like Art Deco mirror work, you’ll love the visuals of this page, and Kris’s music is stunning.
Other new things to see
There’s a couple of other changes to the site, the home page now has the inciting incident, which makes it now a very personal journey, a kind of spiritual/psychological illustrated almost memoir, a mix of reality and fantasy, myth and magic, metaphor and symbolism – just like all my other books! If you haven’t seen the inciting incident yet on the Begin the Journey (home) page, do take a look.
And if you haven’t looked at the new Talisman section on the Descent page, take a look in The Guide section (click the link to go straight there) and then scroll to the end to see what happens to the Talisman at the end of the page. Those of you with Buddhist backgrounds should get the symbolism (hopefully) but there’s some tooltips there to help those who have no idea why I should have a diamond floating in the sky for a talisman.
And on the Growing page, at the end, take a look at what happens after the fairies’ video. The various images of ‘fairies’ I’ve shown here and posted on social media recently are now in full video splendour and in context of the story. The question is, Do children see the world differently? Is that why their books are so full of magic?
About the keys to the pages
If you don’t have the key to the Growing page yet, just provide me with your email address here and you’ll get the key. To get access to the Reflecting page, I’m requesting a little more in exchange for the time, effort and money it takes me and Kris to create Psychemagination – it is a book after all. Just sign up as a Keyholder here on Medium for at least one month’s payment.
Alternatively, purchase a Christmas present with my art on it from my new Redbubble design shop and send me the receipt, and I’ll give you the key because it all helps me pay the bills for this website.
"Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit." - Baltasar Gracián
A new form of art has emerged, AI art – more precisely, AI-generated art. Art has always been a reflection of human creativity and imagination, and now AI, or Artificial Intelligence, has the ability to create stunning visual pieces that challenge traditional notions of creativity and authorship. But what exactly is AI-generated art?
AI-generated art refers to artworks that are created with the assistance of artificial intelligence algorithms. These algorithms analyze data, learn patterns, and generate images or other visual forms based on their understanding of the input data. This process combines human creativity with the computational power of AI to produce unique and captivating pieces of art.
The process behind AI art generation
To understand how AI-generated art works, we need to delve into the underlying process. Art generators typically use deep learning algorithms, such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), to create their images. GANs consist of two neural networks – a generator and a discriminator.
The generator network is responsible for creating new images based on the input data it has learned from. It generates images by combining various elements, textures, and colors to create something entirely new. The discriminator network, on the other hand, evaluates the generated images and compares them with real images. Its goal is to differentiate between generated and real images, pushing the generator to improve its output.
Through a process of trial and error, the generator network learns to create images that are indistinguishable from real ones. This iterative process allows the art generator to continually improve its output and produce visually stunning and unique artworks.
Debunking myths about AI-generated art
Despite the incredible capabilities of AI-generated art, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding this emerging field. Let’s debunk some of these myths and shed light on the reality.
Myth 1: It lacks creativity
One of the common myths about AI-generated art is that it lacks creativity because it is created by a machine. However, this myth fails to acknowledge the collaborative nature of such art. While AI algorithms provide the computational power to generate images, human artists play a crucial role in defining the input data, setting constraints, and guiding the creative process.
Art generators are not autonomous machines that create art on their own. They are tools that assist human artists in exploring new creative possibilities and pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms. The true creativity lies in the symbiotic relationship between human artists and AI algorithms, where each contributes their unique perspectives and skills to the creative process.
This animated series of AI art images appears as ‘the artist’ on the Descent page of Psychemagination. The creative process is that I chose the words to prompt the art generator Midjourney, re-prompted many times, selected the images, animated them, combined them into one video, and then I added the music that Kris Newland created especially for it to create the final product.
Myth 2: It’s indistinguishable from human-made art
Another myth surrounding AI-generated art is that it is impossible to distinguish between AI-generated artworks and those created by human artists. While art generators have made significant strides in producing visually stunning and realistic art, there are still subtle differences that can be discerned by trained eyes.
Human-made art is often imbued with emotions, personal experiences, and cultural context, which gives it a unique quality that is challenging to replicate using AI algorithms alone. AI-generated art, on the other hand, excels in creating hyper-realistic images and exploring unconventional artistic styles that may not be easily achievable by human artists. Both forms of art have their own value and contribute to the rich tapestry of artistic expression.
Myth 3: It replaces human artists
Contrary to popular belief, AI-generated art does not replace human artists. Instead, it complements and enhances their creative abilities. AI algorithms can assist artists in generating ideas, exploring new visual styles, and experimenting with different artistic techniques. They act as creative tools that amplify the artistic vision of human artists, rather than replacing them.
Furthermore, art generated by AI often sparks new artistic trends and inspires human artists to push the boundaries of their own creativity. It serves as a catalyst for innovation and encourages artists to embrace technology as a tool for self-expression. The coexistence of AI-generated art and human-made art creates a dynamic and diverse art landscape that enriches the art industry as a whole.
Also, the kind of animated images that I produce using this AI tool are a new form of art, something that has emerged from the technology, not a replacement for a form of art that existed before the art generators came into existence.
How the images are created
AI art generators utilize complex algorithms to create their images. These algorithms are trained on vast datasets of images, which can range from photographs, paintings, sketches, and even abstract visual forms. The AI algorithms analyse the patterns and features present in the input data and learn to generate new images based on this learned knowledge.
The process begins with the selection of an appropriate dataset that aligns with the desired artistic style or theme. For example, if the goal is to create abstract art, the art generator may be trained on datasets of abstract paintings or images with abstract patterns. This training process allows the AI algorithm to learn the unique characteristics and visual elements associated with the chosen artistic style.
Once the training is complete, the art generator can generate new images by combining and reinterpreting the learned features and patterns. The generator network of the AI algorithm takes random input vectors, also known as latent variables, and transforms them into meaningful visual representations. These latent variables act as a creative seed that guides the generation process, allowing for the creation of endless variations and possibilities.
The generated images can then be further refined and enhanced by human artists, who provide feedback, make adjustments, and curate the final selection. This collaborative process ensures that the AI-generated images align with the artistic vision and intent of the human artist, resulting in a harmonious fusion of AI and human creativity.
Exploring the creative potential
AI-generated art has opened up new avenues for creativity and artistic exploration. By leveraging the computational power of AI algorithms, artists can push the boundaries of traditional artistic techniques and create visually striking and thought-provoking artworks.
One of the most exciting aspects of AI-generated art is its ability to create novel and unconventional visual styles. AI algorithms can learn from a diverse range of artistic styles and combine them in unique ways, resulting in artworks that defy traditional categorization. This fusion of different artistic styles and genres leads to the emergence of new artistic movements and trends that challenge our preconceived notions of what art can be.
Furthermore, such art provides artists with a powerful tool for exploring complex concepts and ideas. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data, such as scientific research, historical texts, or social media trends, and distil them into visual representations. This ability to translate abstract and complex concepts into tangible and visually engaging forms allows artists to communicate their ideas more effectively and engage audiences on a deeper level.
As AI-generated art becomes more prevalent, it raises important ethical considerations that need to be addressed. One of the key concerns is the issue of authorship and ownership. Who should be credited as the creator of an AI-generated artwork – the human artist or the AI algorithm? Should AI-generated artworks be considered original creations or mere reproductions of existing art?
These questions highlight the complex relationship between human creativity and AI algorithms. While AI algorithms play a significant role in the generation process, the artistic vision and intent come from human artists. It is crucial to recognize and acknowledge the contributions of both human artists and AI algorithms in the creation of AI-generated art.
Another ethical consideration revolves around the potential for art generated by AI to perpetuate biases and reinforce existing societal norms. AI algorithms learn from the data they are trained on, which means that they can inadvertently reproduce the biases and prejudices present in the training datasets. This raises concerns about the fairness and inclusivity of AI-generated art and calls for careful scrutiny and evaluation of the training data and algorithms used.
The impact of AI-generated art on the art industry
The emergence of AI-generated art has had a profound impact on the art industry. It has disrupted traditional notions of creativity, authorship, and artistic expression, opening up new possibilities for artists and challenging the established norms of the art world.
AI-generated art has democratized the artistic process, making it more accessible to a wider audience. With the help of AI algorithms, artists can experiment with different artistic styles, techniques, and concepts without the need for extensive training or expertise. This accessibility has empowered aspiring artists to explore their creativity and contribute to the ever-evolving art landscape.
Furthermore, such art has sparked a renewed interest in the intersection of art and technology. It has encouraged artists to embrace technology as a tool for self-expression and has pushed the boundaries of what is considered art. This fusion of art and technology has given rise to new interdisciplinary art forms, such as interactive installations, virtual reality experiences, and augmented reality artworks.
AI-generated art in the digital age
In the digital age, AI-generated art has found a natural home. The internet and social media platforms have provided artists with a global stage to showcase their AI-generated artworks and connect with a worldwide audience. Digital platforms also offer new possibilities for the distribution, sale, and consumption of AI-generated art.
Digital marketplaces and platforms have emerged that specialize in AI-generated art, allowing artists to monetize their creations and reach a broader market. These platforms leverage blockchain technology to ensure the authenticity and provenance of such artworks, addressing the concerns of ownership and originality.
The digital nature of art generated by AI also allows for endless iterations and variations. Artists can easily experiment with different parameters, styles, and themes, generating an infinite number of unique artworks. This fluidity and adaptability make AI-generated art well-suited for the fast-paced and ever-evolving digital landscape.
AI-generated art is a fascinating and evolving field that challenges traditional notions of creativity and authorship. It is a testament to the power of human imagination and the transformative potential of technology. AI art generators are tools that enhance the creative abilities of human artists, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and inspiring new artistic trends.
While art generated by AI is not without its ethical considerations, it serves as a catalyst for innovation and opens up new possibilities for artistic exploration. It democratizes the artistic process, making it more accessible and inclusive, while also sparking a renewed interest in the intersection of art and technology.
Dive into the Psychemagination experience now. Explore the artworks and story that emerge from the collaboration between this human artist and intelligent algorithms.
"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well." - René Descartes
The symbolism of the diamond varies across different cultures and religions, having meaning in the areas of love and personal achievement (in Western cultures) and enlightenment (in Eastern cultures). The diamond’s natural formation, forged under immense pressure, resonates with the strength and resilience that it symbolizes. The multifaceted nature of diamonds also mirrors the complexity of the human experience.
The symbolism of the diamond as I’ve used it in Psychemagination is best explained in terms of the philosphy of the Diamond Vehicle or Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism (as practiced in Tibet and Bhutan) where it holds deep symbolism and significance. This ancient spiritual path, characterized by its esoteric teachings and transformative practices, utilizes the diamond as a powerful metaphor for enlightenment and the realization of one’s true nature.
The symbolism of the diamond in Vajrayana Buddhism
Just as a diamond is considered the hardest substance on earth, Vajrayana practitioners aspire to attain a mind that is as resilient and unbreakable as a diamond. The diamond symbolizes the indestructible nature of the mind, capable of cutting through ignorance and illusion to reveal the ultimate truth. This metaphor is reflected in the Vajrayana practice of “vajra pride,” where practitioners cultivate unwavering confidence in their own enlightened nature, like a diamond that remains unshaken amidst any challenges or distractions.
Moreover, the diamond represents the inherent purity and clarity of one’s Buddha nature. It is believed that every being possesses this innate potential for enlightenment, which is often obscured by layers of negative karma and delusion. Through dedicated practice, the Vajrayana teachings empower individuals to polish their mind, revealing the sparkling brilliance of their true nature. In this way, the diamond serves as a symbol of the transformative power of Vajrayana practices, allowing practitioners to uncover their innate Buddha nature and manifest it fully in their lives.
The symbolism of the diamond in association with enlightenment
The diamond’s association with enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism can be traced back to the ancient scriptures and teachings of the Diamond Vehicle. Just as a diamond is formed under intense pressure and heat, the path to enlightenment is often arduous and challenging. The diamond represents the strength and resilience required to overcome obstacles and transform one’s mind. It symbolizes the unyielding determination and unwavering commitment necessary to achieve the state of enlightenment.
The diamond is also seen as a symbol of the diamond-like wisdom that arises from the realization of emptiness. In Tibetan Buddhism, emptiness refers to the ultimate nature of reality, free from inherent existence. Just as a diamond’s brilliance arises from its clear and empty nature, the wisdom that arises from the realization of emptiness is said to be like a diamond, illuminating the path to enlightenment and dispelling the darkness of ignorance.
The diamond as a symbol of indestructibility
The diamond’s inherent hardness and indestructibility make it a fitting symbol for the mind’s ability to transcend the cycle of birth and death. In Tibetan Buddhism, the concept of samsara refers to the cycle of existence, characterized by suffering and the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The diamond represents the indestructible nature of the mind, which remains untouched by the transient nature of samsara. It signifies the potential for liberation from the cycle of suffering and the attainment of enlightenment, where the mind becomes unshakable and impervious to the challenges of existence.
The diamond as a symbol of clarity and wisdom
The diamond’s multifaceted nature also serves as a reminder of the various methods and paths available within Vajrayana Buddhism. Like a diamond with its many facets, this tradition offers a diverse range of practices, rituals, and visualizations tailored to individual capacities and inclinations. Each facet represents a different aspect of the path to enlightenment, providing practitioners with a comprehensive toolkit for their spiritual journey. The diamond symbolizes the clarity and wisdom that arise from engaging with these diverse practices, enabling individuals to uncover their true nature and experience the full spectrum of enlightenment.
Click here to see how I’ve used the diamond in context of the story of Psychemagination.
The diamond as a symbol of compassion and skillful means
In addition to its association with wisdom and clarity, the diamond also symbolizes compassion and skillful means in Vajrayana Buddhism. Just as a diamond can cut through anything, the practice of compassion in Vajrayana Buddhism cuts through the illusions of self and other, recognizing the interconnectedness of all beings. The diamond represents the transformative power of compassion, which has the ability to break through the barriers of ego and self-centeredness, leading to the realization of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all phenomena.
The use of diamond imagery in Buddhist rituals and practices
Diamond imagery is prevalent in various Buddhist rituals and practices within the Vajrayana tradition. One such example is the use of the vajra, a ritual implement that resembles a diamond-tipped scepter. The vajra symbolizes the indestructible nature of the mind and is used in rituals to invoke the power of enlightened beings and protect against negative influences. The diamond-like clarity and precision of the vajra represent the transformative power of the practices and rituals performed with it, leading to the attainment of enlightenment.
Diamond symbolism in Tibetan Buddhist art and architecture
The symbolism of the diamond is also reflected in Tibetan Buddhist art and architecture. Many Buddhist temples and monasteries are adorned with diamond-shaped motifs, which serve as a visual reminder of the diamond’s significance in the Vajrayana tradition. These diamond shapes can be found in intricate mandalas, thangka paintings, and architectural elements such as stupas and prayer wheels. The presence of diamond symbolism in these sacred spaces serves to inspire and remind practitioners of the transformative power of their spiritual path and the potential for enlightenment.
The diamond as a symbolic reminder
The symbolism of the diamond in Tibetan Buddhism’s Diamond Vehicle serves as a potent reminder of the mind’s inherent potential for enlightenment and the transformative power of Vajrayana practices. It represents the indestructible nature of the mind, the clarity and wisdom that arise from dedicated practice, and the compassion and skillful means required to navigate the path to enlightenment. The diamond’s multifaceted nature reflects the diverse range of practices available within Vajrayana Buddhism, while its presence in rituals and sacred spaces serves as a visual reminder of the profound significance of the spiritual journey. Through the symbolism of the diamond, Tibetan Buddhism offers practitioners a powerful framework for realizing their true nature and unlocking the boundless potential within.
Click here to see how I’ve used the diamond in context of the story of Psychemagination.
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"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyway." - Mary Kay Ash
This heartfull meditation uses a visual image as a representation of your noble self your wisest, most loving and aware, essential self. This self has a full heart, always. So she, he, they, can fill your heart with love, any time. All the time.
Of course you can create your own image of that part of yourself, and imagine it in your own mind, or you can rest your mind on an outer object that invokes that part of yourself, like this video.
An essential instruction for this video is to feel loving light pouring out from the noble being into you.
The video is short, only 1 min and 15 seconds long, but you can do the meditation over and over for as long as you wish, or as short. And when doing it with your own imagined nobel being you can extend the light pouring into you section for as long as you want.
Neurodiversity is a concept that is gaining recognition and importance in today’s society. It refers to the idea that neurological differences, such as autism, ADHD, and giftedness, are normal variations of the human brain. Being neurodivergent means having a brain that functions differently from the neurotypical population.
Neurodiversity is a term that was coined by Australian sociologist Judy Singer in the late 1990s. It challenges the traditional view that neurological differences are disorders that need to be fixed or cured. Instead, it recognizes the value and potential of different ways of thinking and processing information. Neurodiversity advocates argue that society should embrace and celebrate these differences rather than trying to normalize them.
What Does it Mean to be Neurodivergent?
Being neurodivergent means having a brain that functions differently from the majority of the population. It encompasses a wide range of neurological differences, including autism, ADHD, and giftedness. Neurodivergent individuals often have unique strengths and abilities that can contribute positively to society. However, they may also face challenges in areas such as social interaction, communication, and sensory processing.
Common Identities – Autistic, ADHD, Gifted
Autism, ADHD, and giftedness are three common neurodivergent identities. Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that affects a person’s ability to focus, sit still, and control impulsive behaviors. Gifted individuals have exceptional abilities in one or more areas. These are widely cited as intellectual, academic, creative, leadership, and visual/performing arts but spiritual and emotional giftedness has also been noted. Giftedness is an area that is significantly under researched.
Challenges and Strengths
Being neurodivergent comes with its own set of challenges and strengths. Neurodivergent individuals may face difficulties in social situations, such as understanding social cues or maintaining eye contact. They may also have sensory sensitivities, making certain environments overwhelming or uncomfortable. However, neurodivergent individuals often possess unique strengths, such as exceptional attention to detail, creativity, and divergent thinking. These strengths can be harnessed and valued in various fields, including arts, sciences, and technology.
Exploring 2e (Twice-Exceptional) Individuals
Twice-exceptional, or 2e, individuals are those who are both gifted and autistic. 2e individuals often face unique challenges, as their exceptional abilities can be overshadowed by their disabilities. However, with proper support and understanding, they can thrive and make significant contributions to society. A 2eAuDHD individual has autism, ADHD and giftedness, traits from all areas of the spectrum.
The Importance of Recognizing and Embracing Neurodiversity
Recognizing and embracing neurodiversity is vital for creating an inclusive and accepting society. By celebrating neurological differences, we can foster an environment where everyone’s unique strengths are valued and appreciated. Neurodivergent individuals should not be seen as broken or in need of fixing, but rather as valuable members of our community. Embracing neurodiversity can lead to more diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and increased empathy and understanding.
Adults – Late Diagnosis and Self-Discovery
Many neurodivergent adults go through life without being diagnosed or understanding their neurodivergent identity. Late diagnosis can bring clarity and a sense of self-understanding. It can explain why certain aspects of their lives have been challenging and provide a framework for seeking appropriate support. Self-discovery is also common among neurodivergent adults who may not fit the traditional diagnostic criteria but still resonate with the experiences and characteristics associated with neurodivergence.
Support and Resources for Neurodivergent Individuals
Neurodivergent individuals often benefit from support and resources that cater to their specific needs. This can include accommodations in educational and work settings, such as flexible schedules, sensory-friendly environments, and assistive technologies. Support groups and therapy can also provide a safe space for neurodivergent individuals to share experiences, learn coping strategies, and build a sense of community. It is essential to advocate for and provide accessible support and resources to help neurodivergent individuals thrive.
Advocacy and Promoting Inclusivity for Neurodivergent Individuals
Advocacy plays a crucial role in promoting inclusivity for neurodivergent individuals. This can involve raising awareness about neurodiversity, challenging stereotypes and stigmas, and advocating for policies that support neurodivergent rights and accommodations. Educating the public, schools, and workplaces about neurodiversity can help create a more accepting and inclusive environment. By embracing and celebrating neurodiversity, we can foster a society where everyone feels valued and included.
Conclusion: Celebrating Neurodiversity and Fostering Acceptance
In conclusion, embracing neurodiversity is essential for creating a more inclusive and accepting society. Being neurodivergent means having a brain that functions differently from the majority, and it encompasses a range of identities, including autism, ADHD, and giftedness. While neurodivergent individuals may face challenges, they also possess unique strengths and abilities that can contribute positively to society. It is crucial to recognize and embrace neurodiversity, provide support and resources, and advocate for inclusivity and acceptance. By celebrating neurodiversity, we can foster a society where diversity is celebrated, and everyone feels valued and included.
Read the webbook to get a sense of what it’s like to reflect on you life through the lense of being neurodivergent. Note, however, that, like all self-awareness journeys, it is a work in progress!
If you are late-diagnosed neurodivergent, like me, who is interested in mind, spirit and creativity, and you’re looking to connect with others like you in an intimate setting, then click here to join my tribe.
"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons." - Buckminster Fuller
Is Psychemagination an AI art gallery or is it an illustrated book? It’s both. It’s also a neurodivergent person‘s journey of self-examination, and like it’s creator, it doesn’t fit neatly into a box. However, it certainly functions as an AI art gallery.
Please take a look around the website. The videos are available as NFTs on request.
These are some of my favourites. A curated gallery for those who want a quick peek!
To see the videos in a vertical player on moble devices, make them full screen. On this page, the videos play only once, but on the rest of this site, they play in loops.
What is AI art?
AI art (artificial intelligence art) is any form of digital art created or enhanced with AI tools. In this instance, I use Midjourney for generating the images, then use other non-AI tools to refine and animate the images, thus making them into something more than that generated directly from the AI. I use Photoshop to clean up the image, often removing unwanted aspects (like an extra finger). For animation, I use Movepic or CapCut and work on my phone, and I use Premier Pro to put the resulting AI art video to music. This further manipulation of the images make them uniquely my art, as such they should be able to be copyrighted, but how copyright relates to AI art hasn’t been clarified by ‘the law’ at the time of writing this.
The writing is NOT AI generated. How could an AI possibly write about something so personal, about the very human experience of investigating one’s self?
However, the kind of fantasy imagery generated by Midjourney is particularly well suited to illustrating such a journey
Is AI generated Art really art?
This avatar of me explains my thoughts on the matter.
This AI art gallery and the future
With the rate of change in AI at present, the style of the art in this AI art gallery could well be eclipsed in a few months, making it a snapshot of a particular time in the development of AI art. Other AI artists use more complex animations of the kind you can get with Stable Diffusion, but I prefer the simplicity of this style and often find the Stable Diffusion style of animations too fast and flashy. Perhaps it’s a generational thing!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy taking a trip into the halls of my AI art gallery.
Leave a comment if you have something nice to say!
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still." - Laozi
The use of symbolism in art has long been recognized as a powerful medium for self-expression and cultural communication. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, art has the ability to evoke deep emotions and provoke profound thoughts. The use of sacred symbolism in art is one aspect that has fascinated artists, scholars, and spiritual seekers throughout history. These symbols, rich in meaning and often rooted in religious or spiritual traditions, have a unique ability to transcend language barriers and connect with individuals on a deep, spiritual level.
The connection between art and spirituality
Art and spirituality have always shared a close bond. Both are vehicles for exploring the deeper aspects of human existence and seeking meaning beyond the physical realm. Art has the ability to capture and express the ineffable, the intangible aspects of our lives that elude simple verbal description.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is concerned with the search for ultimate truth and the experience of a higher power or transcendental reality. It goes beyond religious dogma and rituals, encompassing a wide range of beliefs and practices that strive to connect individuals with something greater than themselves.
Exploring the psychology of symbolism in art
The use of symbolism in art can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where symbols were used to convey complex ideas, beliefs, and emotions. In modern psychology, the study of symbols has gained significance through the work of Carl Jung, who believed that symbols have a deep psychological impact on individuals and can serve as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind.
Symbols have the power to bypass rational thought and speak directly to our subconscious, tapping into universal archetypes and collective memories. They can evoke emotions, trigger memories, and unlock hidden aspects of our psyche. By incorporating sacred symbols in their artwork, artists can tap into this psychological power and create a profound spiritual experience for both themselves and the viewer.
How viewing symbolism in art can facilitate spiritual exploration
Symbolism in art can serve as a powerful tool for spiritual exploration. By using symbols that are deeply ingrained in religious or spiritual traditions, artists can create a visual language that speaks directly to the soul. These symbols can act as portals to higher states of consciousness, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.
When we engage with artwork that incorporates sacred symbolism, we are invited to explore our own beliefs, values, and experiences. The symbols serve as catalysts for introspection and reflection, prompting us to question our own understanding of the divine and the nature of reality. Through this process, we can deepen our spiritual connection, expand our consciousness, and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Using the artworks in Psychemagination to gain insight into ourselves
Viewers will get the most out of the artworks in Psychemagination if they view them as symbolic of aspects of themselves and their lives, their hopes and fears, their inner being and spiritual journey. I created the works with this kind of meaning for me, but as with all symbols, especially those Carl Jung called archetypes, they have the ability to resonate accross cultures, and provide insight for the viewer.
Notice as you go through the story any images that particularly draw you, over which you want to linger, and ask yourself whether they speak to something in you or your life. Can they shed light on anything in your own psyche?
We can take any of the artworks and ask ourselves, What does it say to me, and does it relate to anything in my life right now? What about this one from the world of Growing?
Of course, the beauty of symbols is that they speak beyond words, so there is no need to express your feelings in words at all. You can simply allow the symbolic nature of the artwork to wash over you.
The historical significance of sacred symbols in art
Throughout history, sacred symbols have played a significant role in art across different cultures and civilizations. From the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs to the intricate mandalas of Buddhist and Hindu traditions, symbols have been used to convey spiritual concepts and evoke a sense of awe and wonder.
In Christianity, the cross is perhaps the most widely recognized symbol, representing the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Islamic art, the geometric patterns known as arabesques symbolize the infinite nature of God. These symbols, and many others, have been used to convey profound spiritual truths and guide individuals on their spiritual journey.
The role of art therapy in spiritual exploration
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilizes the creative process of making art to promote emotional healing and self-discovery. It provides a safe and supportive space for individuals to explore their inner world, express their emotions, and gain insight into their thoughts and feelings.
In the context of spiritual exploration, art therapy can be a powerful tool for connecting with the divine and exploring one’s own spirituality. By creating art that incorporates sacred symbolism, individuals can tap into their inner wisdom and access deeper levels of consciousness. Art therapy allows individuals to bypass the limitations of language and tap into the universal language of symbols, allowing for a more direct and personal experience of the divine.
Famous artworks that use symbolism to convey spiritual themes
Throughout art history, there have been countless examples of artworks that use symbolism to convey spiritual themes. One such example is “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. In this iconic painting, da Vinci uses various symbols, such as the bread and wine, to represent the Eucharist and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Another famous example is “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh. This painting, with its swirling skies and vibrant colors, is believed to be a reflection of van Gogh’s inner turmoil and his search for spiritual solace.
Resources for further exploration of symbolism in art
Conclusion: Embracing the power of visual language for spiritual growth
In conclusion, the power of visual language, particularly through the use of sacred symbolism in art, is a potent tool for spiritual exploration. Symbols have the ability to transcend language and cultural barriers, connecting individuals on a deep, spiritual level. By incorporating sacred symbols in their artwork, artists can create a profound spiritual experience for both themselves and the viewer.
Whether through the historical significance of sacred symbols, the therapeutic benefits of art therapy, or the personal exploration of one’s own spirituality, symbolism in art offers a pathway to spiritual growth and understanding. As we embrace the power of visual language, we open ourselves to new possibilities, deeper insights, and a greater connection to the divine.
So, let us embark on this journey of self-discovery and spiritual exploration through the world of art and symbolism. Let us open our minds, hearts, and souls to the transformative power of visual language. And let us remember that art is not just a medium of expression, but a pathway to psychological understanding and spiritual awakening.
Read and view Psychemagination, an audio visual example of symbolism in art used as a pathway to psychological understanding.
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." - Dale Carnegie