There's actually more than one kind of 'eye'. Some have only one, a few fortunate individuals have them all. I'd separate them out as the 'designer', the 'engineer', and the 'color'. The 'designer' has the eye for lines and shapes and how they work together. Arguably the rarest of the 'eyes', these are the people who can integrate all the design elements so it's looks like an organic whole. The downside with a 'pure' designer is practicality is sometimes sacrificed to the design. The 'engineer' is often mistaken for a designer, but they're more about 'form follows function' and attention to detail; the story above about the painter is a classic 'engineer' tale. An engineer will usually discard or modify a design element if it compromises function too much. The 'color' eye is also rare, but much harder to identify. There's so many variables that it doesn't always matter, although the more 'designer' influence there is generally makes color selection more important. If you have a hard time imagining the design in any other color, the 'color eye' is the reason. Most builders you see are 'engineer' types with maybe some talent in the other two types. It's definitely the most consistent 'eye' and by far the easiest to learn. To be really good at the other two you need some innate talent (which can't be taught) and the ability to fully visualize the finished item in your mind, although it's extremely hard to maintain original creativity all the time. Love him or hate him, Chip Foose is probably the best 'designer' in the US today and worldwide you still have to give it up to the Italians.