Of Paragliding Mermaids, Viking Ships, and Nietzsche’s Floating Moustache

For the Rorsketch project, I’m starting to ask other people what they see in the clouds I’m drawing on. I profiled them based on where they were raised and what their professions were, because I think these are important factors in visual perception. I also told them they can look at the cloud in any orientation. I made all the illustrations out of what they saw.

Here is the cloud in question, which I featured during the early days of Rorsketch:

Viking ship | Julian, Spain, web developer

worm | Fran, Spain, works for an energy company

In my previous post, I wrote about the research that showed how different the Western and Eastern ways of seeing are. For instance, my friend Ana focused on the densest area and interpreted that, ignoring the other white smudges in the periphery.

crab | Ana, Spain and Venezuela, English teacher

On the other hand, I focused on the entire cloud formation and interpreted most of it:

paragliding mermaid | Catherine, Philippines, graduate student in interaction design

I also argued that aside from geography, one’s profession and hobbies affect visual perception. My friend Tom, who is a writer and graduate student of English literature, saw Friedrich Nietzsche’s moustache and eyebrow:

Nietsche's moustache and eyebrow | Tom, USA, graduate student in English literature

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