Frequently Asked Questions
Now with more questions, just as frequently asked!
Q: What is synesthesia?
A: Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon where input for one sense produces an additional response in another sense. For example, some people have grapheme-to-color synesthesia, where certain letters, numbers, words, etc. always have a connection to a specific color (Mondays are blue, or the number 5 is green). Another common form - the form used to make these paintings - is called sound-to-color, aka chromesthesia. As the name implies, this means I "see" sound as color.
Q: How do you "see" sound? Is it physically there, or is it a mental association?
A: A bit of both, in my case! The intrusiveness of my synesthesia at any given moment depends on the sound in question, the setting, the volume, whether or not I'm caught off guard, etc. There are a lot of factors! Generally though, it's not usually visible enough to interfere with my normal day-to-day living; I sit more on the "mental association" end of the spectrum about 75% of the time. As long as I'm able to regulate some/most aspects of my sensory environment, I get by pretty well!
But, please don't sneak up behind me and yell at full-volume to test that, though, thank you very much.
Q: Do voices have colors, too? What does my voice look like?
A: They do! For me, all sounds have color. Each voice is different and tends to be unique to the individual, a bit like a fingerprint. Describing what someone's voice looks like is a bit challenging with language alone... And now you know why I started letting people pay me to answer this in the form of voice portraits.
Q: So what do the colors mean?
A: I get this question all the time, and I hate to break it to you - they don't really have a consistent or singularly-definable meaning. Red voices aren't bad and blue voices aren't good, they're just red and blue, respectively. Your voice color doesn't necessarily say anything about you as a person.*
*...with the note that sometimes when I hang out with someone for long enough, I start to pick up on when their voice is a slightly off shade of green for them. Eventually I'll pick out that that specific yellowish tint to their green means they're covering something up, just because that's what their voice color always does when they're not telling me something. Yes, this has gotten me banned from certain board games among my friends.
Commission Ordering Questions
Q: How do I get my audio recording to you?
A: Once you've completed checkout, you'll receive an order confirmation email. From there, simply reply to the email with your audio! You can either attach it to the email (this is best for voicemails and short clips), or provide a link to the audio if you're using Spotify, Youtube, etc.
When it comes to the technical details regarding file formats: if you know enough about it to ask the questions, you probably know more than I do. But, I try to be as flexible as possible - if you've got a wild idea for a project but can't send me the sound, contact me and we'll figure something out! Likewise, if I can't open a sound file at any point in the process, I'll reach out to you and we'll find a solution.
Q: How do I pick the right size? What do those numbers mean?
A: Ah! Yes! I understand your confusion! This is one of the most common questions I get and I still haven't found a better way of setting all this up, even after all this time. Sorry about that.
Seeing as I sell only digital files for custom orders, I list dimensions rather than exact printed sizes in inches or centimetres. Once you receive your finished piece via email, you'll be able to download the file and order prints of it in a wider range of sizes than I'd be able to offer myself. The dimensions option, on my end, tells me what pixel measurements I'm using when I'm setting up your digital canvas to draw on. That way you get the highest resolution result possible!
Short version: the option you pick is entirely up to you, based on what you're looking for! The main things you'll want to consider when selecting a size are:
- Which way do you want the canvas formatted? Landscape (horizontal), portrait (vertical), or square?
- Are you using this digitally as a wallpaper/profile picture/banner image/etc.?
- If yes, double check what dimensions work best for your planned application!
- Do you plan on ordering a physical copy from a third-party printer?
- If yes, how big do you want that physical copy to be, and do you have a picture frame/space restriction to take into account?
Q: Can you draw [insert person's name]'s voice for me, as a "friend"? Just this once? Pleeeeeaaaase? (i.e., requests for free art.)
A: Occasionally, I will do paintings for my own sake, and I sometimes share those on social media - that doesn't mean I'm going to paint the voice of a stranger on the internet as my unwinding activity for the day. I rely on commission orders as my main form of income, and painting things for free is something I do for myself when and if I'm able to. Thanks for understanding!
That being said: If you're reading this and cost is an issue for a memorial piece specifically (aka: someone has passed and this is a piece being ordered in their memory), use the code LEGACY during checkout. This is on the honor system as a means to help the grieving and those in need - please respect that and do not misuse it, your cooperation is appreciated. ❤️
Q: I would like to order a commission, but can't afford one right now. Are there ways of potentially bringing the cost down? (i.e., requests for lower-cost options)
A: I occasionally will run sales when I'm looking to draw in some extra commissions, so keep an eye out! I haven't in a while as of writing this, so I'm due for another one soon.
I'm also working on setting up payment plan options to make this service I provide here more available. Coming soon, or, as soon as I figure out how to make all the right things go!
Fulfillment and Delivery Questions
Q: Can you ship me a physical copy/print/canvas of my digital commission?
A: For digital orders - not for a price that would make sense, no. If you're wondering how to get your digital synesthesia piece as a physical copy, my best suggestion is to get it ordered from a place like Vistaprint, Canvaspop, or your local pharmacy's photo printing services. It's going to be FAR more affordable for the piece to be printed on your end rather than to have to also pay for shipping.
HOWEVER, I now have a new option in my store just for you! Please check out my live voice sketching option here; I'll have an option for music done this way in the near future! Thank you for your patience while I adjust to running an art business.
Q: How long will it take for me to get my finished custom piece?
A: I would absolutely love to have a concrete answer for you on this. Unfortunately, it can vary a lot. Generally, I try work on a minimum of one order per business day when I've got a commission queue, and I aim to finish pieces within three weeks of receiving the sound clip I'll be painting. (Please note that I cannot begin work until I've received your audio clip!)
If your piece is time-sensitive or otherwise has a strict deadline, please order at least one week ahead of time to ensure I'll have time to get it completed. Ideally, please contact me before you order so I can ensure I have time!
If you have not received any messages or contact from me (automated or otherwise) after completing your purchase, check your spam! I have had at least one person tell me my messages landed in their spam folder.
Q: Okay, but, the canvas I ordered? The one that isn't a custom thing?
A: Oh!! Yes, of course! Most of what I get these days are custom orders. However, if there's an issue with a physical item you've purchased, please contact me and I'll get in touch with the print provider as soon as possible. I haven't encountered an issue with this yet, but I'm more than happy to help should anything come up.
Still have questions?
For any other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org OR message @samsonweinberg on Instagram. As I work through commissions, I'm also working through emails and questions. Please be patient - I tend to communicate fairly asynchronously, and may not respond to you right away.
Thank you all so much again for your support - you've all made this dream job possible.
- Samson (he/they)