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This Man Draws The Singapore Skyline From Memory — And It’s Stunning!

Stephen Wiltshire is a savant with autism. He is well renowned for his attention to detail in his artwork as well as his incredible photographic memory. He has wowed audiences for years with his drawings of Rome, New York City, Sydney, Madrid, Tokyo… the list goes on!

Stephen drew skylines for years relying only on his photographic memory. In the last couple of years, he has started taking photos of the skylines before he begins drawing. He then practices small sketches and plans what part of the large-scale drawing he’ll work on each day. He’s focused, and a bit of a perfectionist, according to his sister Annette. “There’s a lot of labor — a labor of love if you like — going into it, and he’s passionate,” she says. “You know, this is his life… We need air and water and food to eat. He needs pen and paper to keep him going. This is what keeps him going, this is what his dream is. His goal even from a very early age, from 9, was for him to travel around the world and depict his love of architecture. And this is coming from someone who was told that he would not be able to walk on his own, he would not be able to think for himself, he wouldn’t be able to do many things, you know — be an independent man. And he’s broken that cycle… He’s broken that barrier and he’s proved to many people that it doesn’t matter what difficulties you have or blocks that are in your way, these blocks can be broken down, and if you believe in it enough and trust in yourself, you can get through it regardless.”

In the first video, hear from Stephen on his process and see him in action as he works on Singapore’s skyline!

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In the second video, watch Stephen draw the whole skyline via a two-minute time-lapse video. Isn’t the Singapore skyline beautiful?!

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C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband and dog.