Brilliant Brains

Stephen Wiltshire – The Human Camera

Last Updated on June 15, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Stephen Wiltshire
Stephen Wiltshire


Stephen Wiltshire can create a detailed drawing from memory, just by seeing a landscape once.

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Stephen Wiltshire was born on 24 April 1974 in London, England.

Early Life

Stephen Wiltshire was mute as a child.
He was diagnosed as autistic at the age of three.
The thing Stephen seemed to enjoy since his young age was drawing.
It was apparent that Stephen communicated with the world not through the use of words, but through the use of drawings.
The first word he ever said was “paper” at the age of five.
He learned to speak properly at the age of nine.
The drawings he provided even as a child were masterpieces, therefore teachers took a great interest in him and his talent.
Stephen sold his first drawing at the age of eight, which was the start of his lifelong career.

About Stephen Wiltshire

Stephen Wiltshire drew multiple city landscapes just by glancing at them once.
After a single helicopter ride, he drew four square miles of London.
He drew a nineteen foot long drawing after looking at New York City for twenty minutes from a helicopter, in which he included 305 square miles of the city.
As he was seven days on a helicopter over Tokyo, he drew his longest drawing on a 33 foot long canvas.
Similarly to his drawing of Tokyo, he drew Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Dubai, Rome, Frankfurt, London, as well as Madrid.
Given the fact that he is autistic himself, Stephen raised funds for autism awareness. He had raised over $22,000 with a drawing of Hamilton.
At the John F. Kennedy International Airport, there is a giant panorama of New York City which Stephen created in 2011.
Despite the mainstream belief that Stephen only draws architecture, he often drew celebrities and friends in his private sketchbooks, as well as caricatures.

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Genetic Or Learned

One of the factors that contribute to his work is his autism.
Stephen is a person who is trapped inside his own world, his personal bubble. The term used for this is “savant”.
The savant syndrome is fascinating, unusual and infrequent. It might just be one of the most extraordinary phenomena that has occurred in the fields of human psychological development.
People perceive Stephen's drawing as a way of communicating with the world around him.
His ability made him an influential artist and architect.
The conclusion is that his ability is both genetic and learned, given the autism factor, his talent and hard work.

Names Known By



  • The Human Camera
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    Official Website


    Featured In

    • Fragments of Genius, BBC documentary
    • ABC News
    • Beautiful Minds: A Voyage Into the Brain

    Books Published

    • Floating Cities: Venice, Amsterdam, Leningrad, and Moscow
    • Stephen Wiltshire's American dream