Artist Melissa S. McCracken has synesthesia, a phenomena in which sounds, mathematical numbers, and other abstract concepts evoke specific colors. Because McCracken finds it frustrating trying to describe the phenomenon, she has decided to paint what she hears. She explains at Bored Panda:
Synesthesia, although not disorientating, can sometimes leave me at odds trying to describe what I can see to others.
Painting in oils and acrylics is a way to express and exhibit the beautiful colors that I see on a day to day basis, whether it’s hearing someone’s name, or that song on the radio. I paint a variety of artists from Led Zeppelin to Stevie Wonder.
According to her bio:
“I paint music.
Until I was 15, I thought everyone constantly saw colors. Colors in books, colors in math formulas, colors at concerts. But when I finally asked my brother which color the letter C was (canary yellow, by the way) I realized my mind wasn’t quite as normal as I had thought.
Basically, my brain is cross-wired. I experience the “wrong” sensation to certain stimuli. Each letter and number is colored and the days of the year circle around my body as if they had a set point in space. But the most wonderful “brain malfunction” of all is seeing the music I hear. It flows in a mixture of hues, textures, and movements, shifting as if it were a vital and intentional element of each song.
Having synesthesia isn’t distracting or disorienting. It adds a unique vibrancy to the world I experience.”