Inside Autistic Mind…

Sometimes its hard to determine the meaning of visual elements in images created by the artist. This article attempt to analyze a drawing created by an autistic child through visual analysis. The purpose of the visual analysis is to recognize and understand the visual choices the artist made in creating the artwork. By observing and writing about separate parts of the art object, you will come to a better understanding of the art object as a whole (Duke Writing Studio, n.d.)

The images above show a drawing produce by 18 years old autistic boy.  The artwork seems to be influenced by his activity around him such as movies and looking at any visual documents such as magazine and comic.  Through my observation on the activity, the drawing is done spontaneously and confidently without any references. After the drawing activity, I asked the boy about the meaning of each element on the artwork. He answered:

1. Octopus  2. Mantis  3. Egg  4. Smurf tree  5. Frog   6. Ship  7. Power Ranger

The elements in the composition are organized in the natural flow (image 1) that connects to groups of elements (image 2). The positive and negative space (foreground and background) shows there are five parts, interestingly, all parts seem to be interrelated which create some kind of storyline.

If we carefully analyze the element, it seems that in the mind of an autistic child, they tend to observe the visuals around him and interpret it in a ‘naive’ way. I think the best way to determine what inside the autistic mind is through drawing. It can be explicitly done, and the output can be easily interpreted. These findings are based on my simple observation and simple approach, but with a proper approach we can go deeper into the child’s mind and identify their traits.

This will benefit the children in creating a comprehensive creative program for them to create a meaningful artwork where the audience will appreciate it. What do you think if you watch work done by Picasso or Paul Klee or Henri Rousseau? What is your reaction? Maybe its all related to the conscious and subconscious mind of an artist?

What say you?


Duke Writing Studio (n.d.). Visual Analysis. Retrieved from

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Article “Inside Autistic Mind…” by Zahari Hamidon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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