One Squiggly Line Blog

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

Creativity & Visual Thinking: Go for Quantity!

Creativity demands quantity. Creativity comes from being exposed to a lot of different stimuli. It comes from having a lot of different experiences. It’s being able to draw from each of these experiences, and the unique reservoir associated with it. When we have a lot of different experiences, we can continue to build upon new and old ideas with the wisdom we’ve gained.

 

In order to come up with a great idea, we need to have large quantity of ideas to pick and choose from, and experiment with. It’s easy to pick the first ideas that come to our mind, and it’s oftentimes the case that we stop after the first few ideas and fail to go further. 

 

We need to open our minds to more ideas. We can’t stop at our first ideas. Our first ideas are typically generic, and already thought of before. The more ideas we come up with, and the more we suspend our judgement, the more novel our ideas are. We must stretch our minds to think further, and to suspend any judgement. 

 

This is particularly helpful with brainstorming - of trying to come up with a good idea, whether for a work project or a personal project. 

 

The creative mind is the mind that doesn’t stop at the first idea.

Visual thinking is a simple way to increase the amount of knowledge that sticks in your brain. And the more knowledge you have, the more building block you have to create with.

Contact me to bring the power of visuals to your next meeting, events, or project.

Visual Thinking: Get it! Grab it! Go for it!

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While visual thinking makes things simple, it certainly does not dumb them down. Part of the simplicity comes from removing unnecessary parts, leaving behind only what you need to work with. That allows you to really see exactly what it is you do have to work with. This often leads to that, "Oh, now I get it!" moment when everything finally seems to fall into place and make sense.

Once you can see things more clearly, you are able to make better decisions. Sometimes, things become so obvious it doesn't even really feel like you're making a decision at all. The right choice just jumps right at you. Or if you do need to think about it for a minute, it's much easier for you to grab it and run with it.

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

Visual Thinking & Creatvity: Make the common new

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We look at letters every day. Online. Text messages. Street signs. Starbuck's coffee cups. Letters are everywhere.
When we see things all the time, we often stop really looking at them. Common things can become invisible.

When that happens, it's a great time to get creative with them. That causes you to look at things in a new way. Explore them from a bunch of different perspectives. Really look at them. See them in a new light. That's where a lot of new ideas are often found — sitting there right in front of us, in plain sight!

Visual Thinking & Visual Notes: Live Graphic Recording

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People often think I do a lot of drawing while taking live visual notes. If you really look at the image above, you'll see there's really not much drawing there at all. Just some squares, a couple of circles, and an arrow. That's it!
When you write words inside simple shapes, those simple shapes start making your own notes a bit more visual. They become more dynamic. More interesting. The image and the message become more unified. And far more powerful. 

A great way to make your own notes more visual is to write some of your words inside simple shapes — circles, squares, triangles, arrows, etc. Give it a try!

The image above is a close-up of a 4'x8' drawing, created live, in real-time during a Design Thinking workshop. Be sure to check out the entire image!

Visual Thinking & Creativity: World Creativity & Innovation Week

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It's two months since World Creativity and Innovation Week. But why not celebrate it every month? On April 15-22 every year, people from around the world celebrate creativity and innovation by deliberately doing something creative every day. It could be something simple or something profound. It really doesn't matter — just be creative, whatever month it is!

Visual Thinking, Creativity, & Lettering: Time constraints

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Need a quick way to be more visually and creatively productive? Set a time limit! That way, you're more likely to stay focused. Since there's really no time to critique your work, you won't! It may not be perfect, buy you'll keep going and make whatever you did work. That builds momentum and stamina to see things through. And finishing things leads to greater satisfaction and confidence. All of that carries over to whatever you tackle next. Maybe that's why innovation comes from chaos instead of void...

Visual Thinking: Tracking Progress

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Setting goals is one thing. Reaching them is quite another!

You're much more likely to reach your goals when you track your progress. Doing that visually helps you see the big picture at a glance. It also keeps your goals in the front of your mind so you're less likely to forget about them.

That's what performance dashboards are for. They're like the dashboard in your car in the way you can see at a glance how things are going. But they're for tracking progress towards your goal, instead.

Here's a performance dashboard I created to help me track how often I stretch throughout the day. All I have to do is put a dot by the time of day when I stretched. At a glance, I can see if I've been remembering to stretch or not.

A performance dashboard like this is super simple, yet so much more specific than just saying, "I need to be sure to stretch throughout the day."

Visual Thinking & Lettering: Add Some Action!

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Movement makes people look. It's mysterious. Maybe even exciting. Kind of like going on a scavenger hunt. Even if you know exactly where you're going and what you're looking for, there are bound to be some surprises along the way! 

That's why it's great to have visuals with a lot of movement in them. Especially if the topic is not so exciting. An energetic visual with a strong sense of movement will keep people interested. And their eye will naturally travel around the whole page. That means they're much more likely to take in all of your great information.

Cartoonists often use what they call "action lines". That's how they create the sense of movement in a still picture. And it works! Just look at the word "merry" in the visual above. It look like it's moving, thanks to those action lines!