One Squiggly Line Blog

Hand-drawn pictures can make things clear, simple, and fun in blogs, too!

Visual Thinking & Drawing: Label It!


There's a huge difference between drawing to create great art and drawing to think or communicate better. But there's a lot of overlap, too.

Some of those overlaps have to do with the way the brain works. Like when it comes to labels and titles of things. Your brain likes to keep things neat and tidy, so it matches up new information with something similar it's already seen. That helps your brain to keep track of things better.

When abstract things are labeled, your brain has a better idea what to do with them. Take the drawing above. Right now, it's untitled. It's ambiguous. But what if I told you it's a picture of 2 chairs? Then your brain immediately sees the chairs. But if it was titled something like "My Sleeping Cat" or "Flowers at Sunset", your brain would wonder why. The image looks nothing like those things, so your brain will search the image for clues, trying to believe it really is a picture of a cat or flowers.

So when drawing to think or communicate, labels can be very helpful. If you draw something that doesn't quite look like what you were trying to draw, just label it. Then there's no doubt people will know exactly what it is.

The picture above was created in a college drawing class. It's an abstract representation of two chairs.