One Squiggly Line Blog

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

Visual Thinking: Visuals Impact Your Brain

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It probably comes as no surprise that cheerful, happy visuals can put you in a cheerier mood. Or make you crack a smile at the very least.

What may come as a surprise is that cheery visuals impact more than mood. And that impact differs between men and women. Men experience a greater drop in anxiety than women do when looking at a happy picture. Women, on the other hand, experience a greater boost in their working memory than men do when faced with a cheerful picture.

Check out One Squiggly Line's About Visual Thinking page to learn more.

Creativity: Switch Perspectives

There's a myth out there that highly creative people just sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Like a great big lightening bolt from the sky. Or a soft whisper from a mystical muse.

Truth is, creativity is not quite so passive. It is an active process. And there's a science to it, not just an art. There are even formulas, methods, and procedures for generating ideas and, equally importantly, evaluating them.

One great way to think more creatively is to switch your perspectives. Try looking at things from the perspective of a child. Or a superhero. Or a rock star. Or your favorite movie character. You can choose anyone — dead or alive, real or fictional, human or not. Just pick someone and step into their shoes for a minute to see things through their eyes. Another word for that is empathy.

You can also switch perspectives physically. Try walking into a new room. Or taking your work outside. Or maybe lying down to think. Or simply standing up for a while instead of staying seated.

Anything that causes you to see things in a new way can ignite your creativity. So give it a try and see what works for you!

Want more? Check out YouTube channel One Squiggly Line.

Visual Notes: While Reading a Book

People often think of taking visual notes while listening to a live presentation or maybe an audio file. But there's no reason why your notes from print materials can't be visual, too. Especially if you're studying. Or gathering information to write a longer paper. Or even reading a non-fiction book just for fun.

The visual notes above were created while reading chapter 5 of The Accidental Creative,by Todd Henry. One assignment in my grad program was to write a book review. Of course, that meant I had to actually read the book first! So, I created visual notes of each chapter as I went along. That made it much, much easier to see main themes as they emerged.

I had no intention of showing these to anyone when I created them. They were just how I kept track of the key points from each chapter. And I actually ended up "writing" the entire book review visually!

You can see then entire set in thisPinterest board.Because I hadn't planned on sharing them with anyone, I experimented with some things. Some I like better than others, but they all did the job of making my notes much easier to use later on...and the whole project way more fun!

Visual Thinking: Words & Pictures Together

What grabbed your attention first — the image above or the big chunk of text below?

Odds are, the image grabbed your eye first. It's probably the main reason you're reading the text in the first place! So go back to the image for a minute. Really look at it. READ it.

Now, read the paragraph below:

Visual thinking makes complex information simple, brings clarity to confusing communication, makes the common unique, turns the passive into the active and apathy into interest. With visual thinking, the clumsy becomes elegant, the impersonal becomes personal, the dry becomes juicy, "Yes, but..." is replaced with "Yes, and...", trial and error turns to trial and learn, the cold becomes warm, and the separate become unified.

That paragraph and the accompanying image say the same thing! Most people find the information easier to absorb through the image than the paragraph. They're able to absorb that information faster and remember it longer. And, it's a lot more fun!

Creativity: The Idea Box

There's a myth out there that highly creative people just sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Like a great big lightening bolt from the sky. Or a soft whisper from a mystical muse.

Truth is, creativity is not quite so passive. It is an active process. And there's a science to it, not just an art. There are even formulas, methods, and procedures for generating ideas and, equally importantly, evaluating them.

One classic way to create something new is to combine things. And a great way to do that is with an idea box. It's really easy to do - the image above shows one I used with kindergarten through jr. highers.

First, write out the parts of your project, problem or whatever you're thinking about. Next, make a list of thing that fall into each of those categories (random is good here!). Then, chose something from each list and put them all together. If you don't like what you end up with, reach back into your idea box until you find something you do like!


Creativity: You can do it!

Keep it Simple.


No artistic experience is needed to draw!All you need is a pen, paper, and your observation skills. Believe it or not, how the drawing turns out really doesn't really matter.

That's why it's great to draw with pen or marker. That way, you must use every mark that ends up on the page, which requires creativity. So you get to exercise and strengthen your visual thinking skills along with your creativity and the same time.

Don't know where to start? Try just drawing the outline of things.No need to be perfect.Most of the time, close enough is actually more interesting!

This quick and simple drawing was done in my travel sketchbook while on a job in New York City. I didn't want to carry by big markers around with me, so I just used a think black pen and a small gray marker for shading.



Visit One Squiggly Line's Services page for samples of each type of work, or emailinfo@OneSquigglyLine.com to book a job, ask some questions, or set up a workshop — no drawing skills required!

Creativity: The 3 C's

Creativity researchers acknowledge there are different types of creativity and sometimes break it down like this:

Big C — Creative genius (think Einstein, da Vinci, etc.)

Little c — Every day creativity, like writing a witty text

Professional c — Those whose job it is to create (like me!)

While not everyone can be a big C or a professional c creative, everyone has plenty of little c creativity! Drawing is a great place to start for any kind of creativity. Check out my YouTube channel for some quick videos to get your creative juices flowing.

Check out One Squiggly Line's About Visual Thinking page to learn more about little c creativity.

Visual Thinking: Words & Pictures Together


What grabbed your attention first — the image above or the big chunk of text below?

Odds are, the image grabbed your eye first. It's probably the main reason you're reading the text in the first place!So go back to the image for a minute.Really look at it. READ it.

Now, read the paragraph below:

Visual thinking makes complex information simple, brings clarity to confusing communication, makes the common unique, turns the passive into the active and apathy into interest. With visual thinking, the clumsy becomes elegant, the impersonal becomes personal, the dry becomes juicy, "Yes, but..." is replaced with "Yes, and...", trial and error turns to trial and learn, the cold becomes warm, and the separate become unified.

That paragraph and the accompanying image say the same thing!Most people find the information easier to absorb through the image than the paragraph.They're able to absorb that information faster and remember it longer. And, it's a lot more fun!

Check out One Squiggly Line'sAbout Visual Thinking page to learn more.

Creativity: Creative Combinations

Creativity

There's a myth out there that highly creative people just sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Like a great big lightening bolt from the sky. Or a soft whisper from a mystical muse.

Truth is, creativity is not quite so passive. It is an active process. And there's a science to it, not just an art. There are even formulas, methods, and procedures for generating ideas and, equally importantly, evaluating them.

One classic way to create something new is to combine two things. Take the markers above, for example. Nothing new about a round tip marker. Or a brush tip marker. But when you put them both in one pen, you end up with a whole new product!

Learn More About Visual Thinking

Visual Thinking: Visualize Richly & Colorfully


There's so much more to visual thinking than doodles and diagrams! While physical drawings are a great way to help you think and communicate more clearly, there's a lot happening in that brain of yours before you even pick up a marker. The ability to see things clearly with your mind's eye, your imagination, is where it all begins.

To strengthen your visual thinking skills and boost your creativity,look at the picture above. Really study it for a few minutes. Pay close attention to the details, not just the overall image. Then, close your eyes and form a really clear picture in your head of the picture you were just looking at. Describe it out loud as accurately and thoroughly as possible, including as many details as you can.

To take it a step further, when you open your eyes, draw the image you just described. If you get stuck, close your eyes and try to see the image of the original drawing in your head instead of going back to the original picture.

You can do this alone or with a partner. Just remember the goal is to see the image as clearly and accurately as possible.No judging!

This exercise not only strengthens your visual thinking abilities and boosts your creativity, it also increases your observational skills, gives your memory quite a work out, and makes you a bit more articulate, too!

Check out One Squiggly Line'sAbout Visual Thinking pageto learn more!