Artist Stephen Wiltshire can re-create sprawling cityscapes down to the smallest of details from memory after seeing them only once.

London, U.K.-born artist Stephen Wiltshire (aka the human camera) didn’t speak his first word until the age of five. The autistic child, who as part of the efforts of instructors at London’s Queensmill School to get the mute Wiltshire to talk by asking for his beloved art supplies when they took them away, requested one thing: “Paper.”

What began 40 years ago as a mute child sketching animals and London buses has evolved into a series of cityscapes drawn almost entirely from memory over a 20 year period, including Tokyo, Mexico City, Madrid, Jerusalem and recently New York City. Of course, an aerial view of his hometown of London has been sketched as well. In 2001 Wiltshire took a helicopter ride over the city and then drew a to-scale illustration featuring over 200 buildings spread over a four-square-mile area, all within three hours of landing.

Story by Jay Moon