I use images to think. I’m not thinking with words and then using images to describe that thought. Images are how I think.
It means that I “see” something first, then that image turns into a thought. And only then does that thought turn into words.
At school, it meant that word problems in math class were the worst things on the planet. I had to process the written words, translate them into images and then think about solving them.
When the English teacher asked us all a question verbally, I had to translate those words into images, answer it with images and spit it back out in words. This generally took me a minute, so by the time I knew what to say, another student’s hand was already chosen.
At work, it means that when people problem solve things in a long email, I diagram their words afterwards. I feel like I have an extreme case of visual thinking, but I’m sure other artists and designers feel similarly.
Having these experiences has made me more empathetic to people who see the world through numbers or tones. It’s made me realize that miscommunication is more than what was perceived incorrectly through someone else’s lens. It’s also what the lens is.
So next time when someone you’re talking you doesn’t get what you’re saying, it might not be because you didn’t explain it well enough. It might just be that you’re not using the way that person thinks to get to the point.