TECH: Bored with Sudoku? Boost Your Brain Power with Artdoku App
VISUAL CUES: Q&A WITH ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST ALBERT ALLEN III (MANITOU SPRINGS, COLORADO)
What happens when you see a vibrant splash of red, orange or yellow? Notice how you feel seeing hues of violet, blue or green? Albert Allen III paid close attention to how his autistic nephew responded to colors, which put the respected abstract artist on a new path. In 2005, Allen created Artdoku _ a visual alternative to the popular number-centric puzzle, Sudoku.
If you haven’t tried it yet, take a moment to learn more in the following interview with Tania Fuentez Media. An Artdoku app is available for download on Google Play and iTunes’ App Store. I simply couldn’t imagine a world without color … or brain teasers, now that I think about it.
TFM: Tell me about the inspiration behind the Artdoku puzzle and app? What challenges did you face and eventually overcome to see this project into realization?
AA: My original intention for Artdoku was for it to be a new art form. Everything changed when I began babysitting my 4-year-old nephew who was diagnosed with autism. I would have my nephew color in the grids of my Artdoku drawings. It was then when I noticed after a few weeks that his color identification, motor skills, social interaction, positive behavior change and vocabulary started to increase.
The only challenges I faced was transforming Artdoku from artwork into the development of a mobile application. It was rather tedious, time-consuming and inspiring.
TFM: Are you a master of Sudoku? Any other favorite games and why are they important in personal development?
AA: I won’t say a master. I haven’t seen any other games for individuals with autism and related disorders.
Colors are very important in personal development. Children learn and retain information longer when color is used. Eighty percent of our brain receives information visually. Colors stimulate the visual sense and encourage the retention of information. Different colors cause different moods. The colors red, orange and yellow stimulate and increase brain activity. The colors green, blue and violet induce relaxation. Children that are overly stimulated could benefit from the relaxing colors. Children with attention disorders can benefit from brain stimulating colors of Artdoku.
Color inspires creativity and encourages individuals in coming up with new ideas. The use of colors not only assists individuals in artistic projects, color stimulates creativity thinking towards story writing and helps individuals to evaluate and solve questions.
TFM: Please share a bit about yourself, mentors and future projects.
AA: I was born in North Carolina and attended the Village of the Arts in Palm Springs, Calif., in 1979 where I studied New York School artists of abstract expressionism. In the early 1980s, I moved to New York City to paint and managed to capture the attention of Ruth Kligman, Jackson Pollock’s mistress. Ruth felt my work reminded her of Pollock paintings. She later wrote my biography. We remained friends for over 25 years, until her death in March 2010. She was definitely my mentor.
TFM: Is there any special message you’d like to give others coping with autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia and other related disorders? How has your life changed since creating Artdoku?
AA: To the family of loved ones that are coping with autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia and other related disorders. Just be patient, time will heal all of us. Artdoku has tremendously changed my life to help individuals with autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia on a global level.
iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artdoku/id666551455?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo=4