The inspiration for this post is an article written by Richard Spillett for Daily Mail. Text under the heading “Article” was written by Spillett.
Brain injury had no impact on my ability to draw. I could draw only stick figures before injury, and I can draw only the same stick figures now. This is not true for all survivors. For example, Pip Taylor who could not draw very well prior to her injury finds she can draw very well after falling down a flight of stairs. According to several experts, she is one of the few women who have Acquired Savant Syndrome.
By Richard Spillett
A woman has discovered a new-found talent as an artist after hitting her head falling down the stairs. Pip Taylor, 49, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, always enjoyed art at school, but was advised against it as a profession because teachers said she didn’t have the ability. After suffering a serious concussion from falling down a flight of stairs, she suddenly gained the ability to draw beautiful works of art.
Miss Taylor said: ‘I dug out my old notepad from when I was 16 and cringed at my attempts of drawing people and faces. They were just terrible. Miss Taylor can now copy almost any image and specialises in portraits, such as [the following portrait] of actor Idris Elba.
She said: ‘I fell at the top of a flight of stone steps and hit the right-hand side of my head. I was rushed to hospital by ambulance and came to a couple of hours later, unsure of where I was.’
Miss Taylor is now compelled to draw every day and worries if she doesn’t draw she will lose her new talent overnight- as quickly as she discovered it.
She added: ‘I have always loved being artistic – even though it didn’t come naturally to me. When I was recovering and resting at home I decided to pick up a pencil and start sketching. I started doodling but something felt different. It was more natural and I was amazed at the images I could draw. It is a talent I developed over night. My sister jokes that she wants a bang on the head so she can wake up with a talent.’
She said: ‘I found myself sat at home recovering and I was bored. I hadn’t drawn for years but I bought a 2b pencil and a sketch pad and tried drawing. It felt really natural in a way it hadn’t before and I saw things in a different light. I began to realise I had a real skill in being able to copy things accurately.’
Miss Taylor’s brain doesn’t allow her to create her own images in her imagination, but she can copy objects, people and photographs perfectly.
Miss Taylor mainly draws animals and pet portraits and her favourite part to draw are the eyes.
She added: ‘I get such a pleasure from my art. My brain injury changed my life and I am just so glad that I have this positive talent from it.
‘I draw as much as I can and I am truly grateful for this side effect of my brain injury.’
Click here to read a Beyond Injury post about another savant.
Click here to read an article about Acquired Savant Syndrome.
Thanks to Google for helping me find the article; Pip Taylor for sharing her story; Richard Spillett for writing the article upon which this post is based; Daily Mail for dedicating its resources to the article; Caters News Agency for taking the pictures I used in this post; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the text and pictures I used in this post.