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Illustrated Temple Grandin Interview Reveals Why She's Thankful for Autism

Drew Christie beautifully animates Grandin's explanation of her own creative style.

by Beckett Mufson
16 March 2016, 3:30pm

Screencaps via

Temple Grandin, renowned animal scientist and one of the first to talk publically about her own autism, speaks on the subject of creativity and problem solving in a compelling animated interview by Quoted Studios, Blank on Blank, and Drew Christie. "I was diagnosed with autism as a young child. I had all of the symptoms. No speech, screaming, everything. I was definitely fully austistic," she says in the 2008 discussion with Janet Bishio. She goes on to describe how her brain is like a search engine that's permanently set to images, and how that way of thinking has been extremely valuable in her specialized profession. "If you got rid of all the genes that cause autism, you'd be rid of Carl Sagan, you'd be rid of Mozart," she says in the interview. "Einstein, today, would be labeled autistic."

Christie's animation, which you might recognize from his similar piece on Charles Bukowski, brings the chat to life, rendering Grandin's thought processes in easy-to-grasp graphics, and supplying a wonderful depiction of the woman herself. "She's a really interesting looking person, I thought she was so fun to draw," he tells The Creators Project. "I have always been really inspired by people who take something that seems like a disadvantage and turn it into an advantage. I love that Temple is thankful for her autism and sees it as really a super power with which she can visualize the world differently than neuro-typical people. That really inspired me. I think in the end, I really just like things that turn the viewer pre-conceived notions on their head. It's essentially why I make anything is to try and force people to look at things from a completely different perspective than they are used to."

Christie worked with artists Gabe Adams and Dane Herforth on the piece, an episode "Blank on Blank," called, Temple Grandin On Her Search Engine.  Watch the short film below.

Temple Grandin is known for her innovations in the realm of humane animal slaughter

See more of Drew Christie's work on his website.

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