See the jaw-dropping sketches The Human Camera draws from memory.

During the last week of October 2016, Stephen Wiltshire flew to Mexico City. From the instant he landed, the world-renowned artist drew a crowd.

Dozens of fans and reporters (and a few thousand fans on his live-stream) came to watch him sketch a panoramic view of the Mexico City skyline. The audience watched, mouths agape, while Wiltshire, dressed in a hoodie and headphones, sketched hundreds of buildings.

He captured details like roundabouts, windows, and trees. It would be a true feat for any local, but that's what makes Wiltshire so impressive: He's not from Mexico City. Or even Mexico. He's from London, and he drew all this from memory.


Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images.

Since childhood, Wiltshire has used art to communicate and interact with the world around him.

He was mute as a child and diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old. In elementary school, he discovered drawing and found not only a passion for it, but also a real talent.

As a kid, Wiltshire sketched animals, city buses, and buildings with great delight. When he spoke for the first time, two of his earliest words were paper and pencil.

Wiltshire's teachers noticed how talented he was, so they encouraged his gift.

One helped him enter local art competitions. Soon, the press came to see then 7-year-old Wiltshire and his incredible talent. And before long, he was appearing on game shows and signing an art book deal. At 8, he sold his first piece and received a commission from the British prime minister. Impressive accomplishments for anyone, especially considering Wiltshire didn't fully speak until he was 9. But Wiltshire never let the sudden fame go to his head; he was just doing what he loved.  

"I enjoy it because it makes me feel happy and lots of people enjoy looking at my work," Wiltshire said in a press brief. "It makes them smile ... I feel very proud."

Wiltshire puts the finishing touches on a drawing of the nearly completed Shard site. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Today, Wiltshire travels the world as a professional artist.

He's been called The Human Camera because after seeing an aerial view a city for an hour or less, he's able to complete a perfectly scaled panoramic illustration.

"I can memorize any city I like, buildings or anything really," Wiltshire said in a press brief. "I can still remember buildings I saw when I was very young, like five or six years old."

Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images.

He's been to Tokyo, Rome, Hong Kong, New York, Madrid, Houston, Singapore, and more to do live drawings.

For his achievement in art, the London native was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

When he's not on the road, Wiltshire resides in London, where he opened his own permanent gallery.

"I feel proud of myself, lots of people come to visit my gallery from all over the world and buy my artwork, lots of school groups also come to visit," Wiltshire said in a press brief. "I come to my gallery twice a week and meet people and sign my autograph."

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images.

Wiltshire's work would be impressive with or without his autism diagnosis.

It's important to remember that his autism doesn't make his talent or finished sketches any more or less incredible. And it doesn't make him any more or less deserving of the accolades and honors he's received either.

But it does make him human, just like the rest of us.

Yes, Wiltshire has struggled to communicate, but his grit, talent, and passion (buoyed by a supportive family) got him where he is today. And that's something to cheer about, autism or not.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less