One Squiggly Line Blog

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

Creativity: We All Have It — Reignite Yours!

Think back to when you were a kid. Do you remember your personality? Do you remember any quirks you had?
 

And if you can’t remember that far back, think about the little kids you know, whether family, friends, or even strangers.
 

They all have one thing in common - they’re at the the most creative stage in their life.
 

Children are at a stage where they haven’t been conditioned to many routines and norms. They are completely themselves - unfiltered and raw.
 

...Always asking why

...Not caring too much of what others think about their appearance or their actions

...Saying whatever comes to mind

...Not holding back any ounce of laughter
 


As we grow older, eventually we don’t question as much
 

Eventually the routines of life become mainstream
 

Eventually our imagination grows stale
 

We hold back our laughter more and more
 

And eventually we lose the perspective of what could be in exchange for what is

Creativity gets taught out of us


Our teachers telling us to write in 12 pt. Arial font.


Our parents not having enough patience to answer all of our why’s.
 

Our own inflicted judgements
 

We become afraid of failure. Of messing up. Of saying the wrong thing. Of being judged.
 

To the point where we’ve lost ourselves in exchange for a mask that society has handed us.

We have unlearned creativity.

We all have the ability to be creative, but it's our job to learn it again.

Visual thinking is a great way to jumpstart your creativity, whether personally or professionally, alone or with a group. Simply watching someone else create something can inspire creative thinking and actions. Contact me to bring the power of visuals to your next event, meeting, or project and reclaim your creativity!

Visual Thinking: Visual Notes & Graphic Recording - Short Talks in Tight Spaces

Having a graphic recorder create large-scale visual notes at your event can create quite an impact and make the content way more powerful. Sometimes, there's just not time or space to work at a super large scale. But size alone is not what makes the images so powerful. The power comes from the magic that happens when words and pictures are used together - like carrying a big box with both arms instead of just one.

The image above is one of eight created at TEDxBerkeley last month on 20"x30" foam core board. While much larger than a sketchbook, this size is still much smaller than the standard 4'x8' boards many graphic recorders use. Yet, the image is still quite powerful and creates quite an impact - and the smaller size is much easier to carry around!

Check out the whole set of visual notes from TEDxBerkeley 2016!

Graphic Recording: TEDxBerkeley ~ Steve Wozniak

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Graphic recording is full of surprises. You never know who you're going to run into or what they're going to say.  But no matter the speaker or the topic, the process remains the same - listen and draw! 

This image was created just a few days ago at TEDxBerkeley by the last speaker of the day, Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computers Inc. He had a lot of great stories to share about his times on the Cal campus as a student. He talked about all kinds of random things - shaving cream, pay phones, saltine crackers, and typing, to name a few. All great stories in and of themselves, but far too many for me to capture visually in such a short time. But that doesn't matter. His overarching message was crystal clear - find happiness.

That's what graphic recording is all about - making the big picture clear for everyone, even those not in the room.

Visual Thinking & Graphic Recording: One Main Image

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Graphic recording involves taking notes with a lot of pictures. Sometimes, especially with shorter presentations, there's simply no time for a lot of pictures. A lot of pictures may not be needed, either. One large central image can be mighty powerful. And it may be all you need.

There's more than one picture in the graphic recording above. There are some musical notes, a couple of light bulbs, and some simple people at the bottom. Then there's a big face in the center, towards the top. Notice how that face really grabs your eye?

If you're pressed for time, pick one thing to draw. Draw it big and bold. That alone will make your notes or poster much more visual. That one drawing will catch people's eye and bring them into the content more than just words alone.

Graphic Recording: Color & Lines Create Movement

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People will often come up to me on live Graphic Recording jobs and say, "Wow, I sure wish I could draw like you!" That's a really nice compliment. But the truth is, most people really can draw most of the things they're looking at. The "wow" factor comes from the design.

Take the graphic recording above. There aren't many pictures here - some simple faces, a few dollar bills (rectangles with dollar signs on them), and a bunch of mosquito type things that could be any kind of flying insect. Nothing fancy!

What grabs people's eye and draws them in is the design itself. In between the bold lettering on the top and bottom are a bunch of powerful lines and strong colors. The bold lettering frames the page and keeps it grounded. The powerful lines direct your eye around the page so you're sure to look at everything. The strong colors direct your eye, too. They also organize the information so you can more quickly understand how it's related.

If you only look at the pictures, you know the talk had something to do with bugs, people, and money. The design itself is what invited you to dig a little deeper and make sense of it all.

This graphic recording was done as an experiment, using only a black marker and crayons. I discovered crayons tend to disappear when you make the background white. That's why I left the image as is - with a blotchy gray background. That doesn't happen with markers!