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: Get it! Grab it! Go for it!

VisualThinking_GetitGrabitGoforIt_OneSquigglyLine

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.
 

Spot Illustration: A One Word Story

SpotIllustration_ProgressMountain_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Spot illustrations are simple drawings that illustrate one simple concept or word. (That's how I define them, anyways!) Often, spot illustrations turn that concept or word into a simple story. And, as anyone in marketing, sales, communication, and pretty much any other type of business knows, stories are where it's at. 

Stories grab attention and draw people in. They make people curious and give them a reason to care. They can bring personal meaning to technical explanations. Stories bring things to life. Even if only a tiny glimpse of the story is told.

That's what spot illustrations do. They bring things to life and give just a glimpse of a story. Enough of a glimpse to grab attention, draw people in, and make them curious enough to find out how the story ends.

Contact me to have some hand-drawn spot illustrations created especially for you!

 

 

 

Visual Thinking & Sketch Animation: One Squiggly Line

I added this quick animation to my Services page. Unfortunately, many sketch animations are confidential, created only for internal company use, so they can't be shared. But they're a great way to bring training materials, sales presentations, product highlights, or any other information to life.

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Surprise!

VisualThinking_Creative_Letter_Design_Christmas_Sled_Surprise_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Hiding a surprise in a visual is a great way to make them more fun. The surprise can't be hidden so much it would take hours to find. It needs to be hidden just enough to be missed on the first glance. But easy enough to find in a minute or two.

Discovering a surprise gives the same sense of satisfaction as solving a problem. And that's what people will feel after discovering the surprise in your visual. And because they really looked at it, they will be much more likely to remember the visual, too.

So what's the surprise hiding in Santa's sleigh? Here's a hint: He's the one wishing everyone Merry Christmas, not Santa!

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Just a Hint!

VisualThinking_Creative_Letter_Design_Christmas_Stocking_Cat_Surprise_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Our brains don't like to leave things open-ended. They like complete pictures. And they work really hard to fill in any missing pieces.

To fill in those missing pieces, the brain searches everywhere. And comes up with a lot of different options. Some options may be quite obvious. Others not so much. Those not so obvious options are often the most creative.

To create visuals that are a bit more open-ended, don't draw the whole thing. Try just giving a hint instead. Like in the visual above. You're sure there's a cat in the stocking. (The "Meow!" alone pretty much gives it away!)

Just seeing the ears makes you wonder what the cat is doing in that stocking. Why did it jump in there in the first place? Did it catch a mouse? Is it eating some Christmas goodies? Is it taking a nap? Trying to get out?

If you're after clarity, draw it all. If you're after creativity, just draw a hint.

 

Live Graphic Recording: Design Thinking Innovation Workshop at The Product Summit

The ProductSummit_DesignThinkingInnovationWorkshop_Morning_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine
TheProductSummit_DesignThinkingInovationWorkshop_Afternoon_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Workshops are generally made of PowerPoint presentations, hands-on work, and lively discussions. Graphic recording is a great way to capture both the facts and the flavor of the group, giving everyone (present or not) a clear picture of the key points and the experience as a whole. It's also a great way to show the whole group how much of an impact each person's  participation has on everyone's experience there.

The two images above were created during the full day Design Thinking Innovation Workshop last Saturday, as part of The Product Summit in San Francisco.

Live Graphic Recording: Leaders for Change 2014

LiveGraphicRecording_FosterYouthAction_LeadersForChange2014_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Last Friday, I did some live graphic recording at Foster Youth in Action's Leaders for Change conference. Leadership teams from ten different groups each presented a little about their group, their accomplishments, and their goals. 

This was recorded on one 4'x8' panel. Since unity and collaboration were a big part of this event, it was really important for each group to be represented in one final image. Fortunately, space allowed for a larger image, but that's not always the case!

Alternately, each group's presentation could have been recorded on a smaller panel (around flip-chart size). Smaller images can then be displayed together at the event and pieced together into one final digital image, if desired.

Timeline: Golden Gate Bridge

Timeline_GoldenGateBridge_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Timelines are by nature visual, but that doesn't always make them so visually inviting. I did this one a while ago for practice and to learn a little about a Bay Area landmark, too. Even from a distance, you can clearly see it is about the Golden Gate Bridge, it's foggy, and there's a blimp in the sky. A successful visual creates a very simple, yet clear, first impression like that.

This timeline was created on a 4'x8' sheet of paper and colored with crayons...which I quickly discovered are hard to photograph well. So, this one remains a cropped snapshot, not a bright and shiny digital image like I usually send my clients.

Visual Summary: Milwaukee

VisualSummarySynthesis_Milwaukee_MelindaWalker_OneSquigglyLine

Here's what I do on airplanes - I draw! I was in Milwaukee for a job a few weeks ago and created this visual summary on my way back. Looks like I managed to see quite a bit in the 36 or so hours I was there! The one disadvantage of working in black and white? I couldn't capture the beautiful sunrise!