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 & Creativity; Visualize it richly & colorfully

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Visualizing things richly and colorfully leads to more creative thinking. You probably visualize things more than you realize, without really thinking about it. So you already have some visual thinking skills. But how do you become better at visualizing things on purpose?
Try this:

Go to a hardware store or someplace that sells paint. First, pick a paint sample color card that matches your shirt. That's a warm-up, starting with something very concrete and right in front of you — your shirt.

Then, look for a paint sample color card that matches something at home. It could be a different shirt, a piece of furniture, your walls. Whatever you choose, you will need to picture it very clearly in your mind so you can "see" the color.

Paint sample cards are usually free, so you can take home the ones you think are the closest and see how well you did. The more you practice, the better you get!

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

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: Think inside the box, too!

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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.

While there's often a push to "think outside the box" when generating ideas, thinking inside the box can be just as important. And productive. "The box" gives you a starting place, and sometimes getting started can be the hardest part.

So when looking for creative ideas, it's really ok to start with what you know, right where you are, with whatever you have right in front of you. Because once you start, you'll most likely keep going until that great idea hits you.
 

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Idea Boxes

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!


 

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Nine Ways to Draw a Handshake

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Hands can be hard to draw sometimes. Handshakes can be even harder. Mainly because you can't shake hands with yourself to see what a handshake really looks like! When doing live graphic recording, there's no time for that anyways. You just have to draw!

Here are nine different ways I tend to draw handshakes when graphic recording. I've found it really helps to have a number of different ways to draw something - some super simple, some more complex. That way, if you only have a few seconds to draw something, you've already found a way that works. 

It's also good to do experiments like this behind closed doors, instead of waiting until you're standing in front of a big bunch of people or on stage!

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Use What You Have

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When it comes to creativity and innovation, there's often a push for wild and crazy ideas. Wild and crazy ideas can be great and lead to great things, but they may also require wild and crazy resources. If resources are limited, the most creative, innovative, and practical solutions may simply be to use what you already have.

Visual thinking can help you take stock of the resources you have. And understand how they're currently being used. And how they all work together. Once you know what you have to work with, you can better figure out how to use those resources in new ways...even if you just want to build a better snowman!

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Use Things in New Ways

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When it comes to innovation and creativity, it's common to think you need more. More ideas. More resources. More people. More money. More, more, more!

Truth is, more is not always better. In fact, the more you have, the more confusing things get. Striving for more can prevent you from taking a good look at what you already have. And putting it to good use.

When you pull apart what you do have and look at each part individually, it helps you see things in new ways. When you see things in new ways, you think in new ways. Use things in new ways. Do things in new ways. And that's what leads to creative and innovative breakthroughs.

Visual thinking can help you get a clearer picture of what you already have to work with. And think about how you might use whatever you have in new ways. Because there's always more than one way to build a snowman...or anything else!

Visual Thinking & Creative Lettering Design: Capital C

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I'm really big on creative lettering. That's partly because I like to draw letters. When doing graphic recording or illustration work, I've found lettering appeals to pretty much everyone. If there's too much text (regular writing) people lose interest. If there are too many pictures, people get lost. Fun, fancy, creative lettering is the middle ground between pictures and text.

I did some creative lettering practice a little while ago. I set a timer for 2 minutes and drew as many different capitol c's as I could in that time. (I may have gone over a little, I don't remember!) Here's what I came up with - plenty of different ways to draw a common letter!

Visual Thinking & Drawing: There's Power in Numbers!

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This is by no means the most exciting drawing out there. But it's a great example of how simple shapes and lines can turn into something far more powerful.

The entire city is made of rectangles. Simple lines make up the windows. The stars in the sky are just the letter x. That's it!

The way everything is put together is what makes those simple lines and rectangles turn into a city. They fill the page. That creates far more impact than one building alone. And the dark colors make it clear it's night time.

Next time you want to make a simple drawing more powerful, try filling the page with the simple things you do know how to draw.