Are You A Verbal Or A Visual?

I remember studying styles of learning in grad school. The professor said some of us are more visual and others more verbal (there are many ways researchers divide this up). He asked us who in the class might be a visual processor based on how she presented herself. We all picked the other Patty (it wasn’t me), because she combined color and shape and always looked so darn good. Since I remember that moment almost 20 years later, it must have made an impression.

And just a couple of years ago, when I had the distinct pleasure to meet Paula of Fashion Over Fifty, we had a similar discussion about how we each process the world. Paula is an artist, very visual and creative. She said the hard part of blogging for her is the writing. It was another aha! moment for me. I love to write, it comes easily, I even used to get paid for it. But “seeing” things does not come easy.

Some of Paula‘s colorful and creative outfits.
Another blogger friend who’s an artist: Melanie of Bag and a Beret.
Suzanne is an artist too, and knows how to take just the right fashion risks.

Like many aficionados, I appreciate the beauty of a painting, photo, or outfit. But I have a hard time visualizing these things without coaching. That’s one of the reasons my outfits, while nice and fun and pretty, never really soar. I don’t have the eye.

I accept this, and get inspired by creative bloggers/designers/artists. Copying is OK. And I would like to get better at my visual skills, so I’m considering taking an art class for beginners. We are never too old to be a beginner.

Are you more comfortable in the world of words, or images? Or are you pretty fluent in both? I think it’s good to stretch ourselves where we can.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and stay fabulous,

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  1. Definitely both! I know I'm a visual learner 'cos it's a complete waste of time verbally giving me directions. I need to see a map or it just doesn't make sense. But I'm verbal in that I process and develop my thoughts by talking or writing.

    As you say, there are masses of different versions of the multiple intellegences theory. From some of the wider definitions, I'm dreadful at the mathematical bit of 'logical-mathematical' and the spatial bit of 'visual-spatial' and I'm not great at some of the kinesthetic bits i.e. catching or hitting a ball.

  2. I am definitely a visual type. As an autistic woman words are anyway difficult for me, even though I have learned to speak and write well. But words must be pictures for me, otherwise I do not understand it. Some words never, they haven't pictures ..
    And I like colors, all colors.
    To attend an art class is a splendid idea and I think: it's never too late to learn something. This keeps us young … now I'm learning English …
    Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. I am definitely more verbal. In fact, I find too many visuals distracting, like mind clutter. I tend to be pretty minimalistic in my dress, but I do think it is pretty boring. I wish I had more of an affinity for working with print or pattern.

  4. I think I'm a visual learner to a point. I like color and texture but I lack the confidence it takes to pull off what I imagine. I think I need a mannequin. 🙂

  5. Mmm, no idea. I used to be a writer and editor but now can hardly string a sentence together, and it am rapidly losing vocab (motherhood and aging?). 🙂 But I think I'm a visual learner. I really have to go away and think about this!

  6. Lol Patti–i saw your headline and I remember our conversation too!
    I still struggle with the words–thats why Im doing the video. I can see by tge comments that some arent clearly one or the other and anyone can learn!
    I am so drawn to the other bloggers that are visual also; yet words fascinate me too. And you always keep me fascinated! Xoxo

  7. i'm more visual .I find it easier to create outfits but my camera and camera skills many times don't do them justice.As for writing I have a difficulty because english is not my mother tongue and to be honest sometimes I don't feel like saying much about my outfits.I just crave for more and better visuals in my bog. By the way thans for maing me cear this in my head. many kisses

  8. To quote my favorite TV character – "I prefer to text".. But I am a fairly visual person as well. I believe in a strong combination of both, as well as repetition for learning.

  9. Yep, got me thinking about this one too.
    I would say verbal first – how I love to talk (too much, usually!) and I find the writing part of blogging comes easily. I sometimes think I'd like to do more, but I worry it would overwhelm an essentially style-oriented blog… But since I began blogging, I do feel more confident about the visuals. I certainly don't struggle with putting outfits together, that isn't the issue, but I wouldn't say I am a natural with anything visually creative. I do like textures and colours and shape, and I think I appreciate a range of visual arts, but have no technical abilities myself, I'm certainly no artist!
    Your writing abilities are excellent, it's clear you enjoy it and it comes easily to you, Patti. Maybe we are both working on bringing our visuals up to meet our words! xxx

  10. Funny, I think I'm both – visiual with fashion and my card designs and verbal with my professional writing. I think both are fab for balancing your talents.

  11. Taking an art class will be an absolute blast for you. I refer to it as adult play. Nothing is wrong and you just basically do what feels right for yourself and your mood. It should feel freeing and not at all difficult.

    Breaking through self-perceived barriers keeps us young. And like you wrote, we are never too old to be a beginner. It is kind of refreshing if you think about it.

    I think you have it inside you already, you just need to discover it for yourself.

    I definitely learn visually. Details are my drug. I am quickly seduced by the written word as well. I think since they are both creative my mind can bend around them. Facts, dates or math… are definately NOT my strengths. Those are like pieces of confetti in the air that I can never seem to grab hold of no matter how I try.

    Thanks for including me here with Paula and Melanie. They are both such talented, creative, inspiring women.

    Another gal that comes to mind when you mention artists would be Ann from Spy Girl. She throws together the wildest brightest outfits and if you've checked out her art it is the polar opposite…moody dark and almost haunted. She is two entirely different creative people living in one body. That makes for a very intriguing individual.


  12. I'm both, I think. I love writing and photos of my outfits punctuate the words. I'm not surprised you once were paid for writing, you write brilliantly! x

  13. I am both…though I lean verbal. Since beginning to blog, I wish I had studied photography more….I really like it. I have been writing since elementary school and it is just a huge part of who I am.

  14. Interesting discussion. I find it easy to process visually as opposed to auditory. However just to complicate matters there is a third sense that we use and that is kinaesthetic or feeling. In other words learn by doing (tactile). I think this is often neglected in our school system. There are also many combinations or synesthesia where we combine two or three of our senses.

  15. I'm surprised to read you say this… You always look so put together! But I'm not surprised you were paid for writing – your talent shines through in all your posts. But now I know this visual thing about you, how I would love to give you an art session… My No. 1 rule is there are no rules and there are NO MISTAKES. It'd be a blast. I'm happy you're thinking of exploring this side of yourself more. Thank you so much for the mention here in the company of such great women, Paula and Suzanne.

  16. This really got me thinking and then thinking some more and then even more. I know I'm a very visual learner and person, have always loved art and being creative and yet my love for the written word is something I also treasure. I'm currently taking another photo class and just signed up for a writing class to give me a challenge to work on and its always a great opportunity to have feed back on your writing. I totally agree its a good thing to continue to learn and stretch ourselves and better yet, its always a great thing when we can appreciate the strengths and talents of others. This is what I enjoy the most about blogging, being inspired by the gifts of all you great women.

  17. Though I'm very drawn to images, I tend to be more verbal myself. I often don't see details in an image until someone points them out. I love to write, always have.

  18. The visuals for blogging is fun and enjoyable to create but the writing is so not my strength. I am continually inspired by all the great writers out there in the blogs. I feel sad sometimes that my writing doesn't help to support my posts better because in real life I do have a lot to say.

    blue hue wonderland

  19. This is harder than I thought, because I always believed I was more visual (at least the way I learn), but with blogging I find I really enjoy the writing. I think I'm too restrained visually, too self-conscious. I hope Paula and Melanie and Suzanne rub off on me!

  20. Pre-blogging, I would unhesitatingly say "verbal". I am, after all, an English major first, an English teacher by day, and a closet novelist in the wee hours. Post-blogging, though, I would like to modestly maintain that I am fluent in both. I find myself both at ease with color and pattern as I do with adjectives and gerunds. My late father would be so proud; he was the consummate metrosexual before the term was even invented and he'd despaired of his bluestocking daughter for the longest time. ;p

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