One Squiggly Line Blog

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

Creativity & Visual Thinking: Love is Powerful!

Do you know what love feels like?
 

Does it make your heart skip several beats? Does it make you feel nervous? Excited? Content? Happy? Calm?
 

Love feels different for everyone - we each have our own love language. It’s our goal to identify how we respond and react to love.
 

In order to do so, we must become more familiar with ourselves.
 

This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. This applies to all aspects of our lives - our jobs, our friends, ourselves, as well as our significant others.


It’s important to fall in love with our lives, or at least certain aspects of them, as our lives are too short for mediocracy.  Our lives are too short for mediocre careers, hobbies and relationships.


We must not settle for something that doesn’t stir our heart. We must try and live our lives in accordance with our passions.
 

In order to find love, we must know what we’re passionate about.
 

This all takes takes time, experience, and even failure. We must not be afraid of encountering new experiences, as every new and unfamiliar experience is valuable in helping us learn more about ourselves.
 

How are you going to learn more about yourself and your love language? What experiences do you want to have this year? What areas do you want to grow in?

Learn more about Visual Thinking

Visual Thinking & Creativity: A Manifesto for Life

“Live deeply. Never let a moment go by where you’re not fully embracing the time you’ve been given. Be passionate. Don’t let anyone you encounter leave the same way. Talk deeply, talk real. Time is limited - Make the most of it. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Absorb the beauty in everything. Cry. Laugh. Dance in the rain. Kiss passionately. Don’t lock your voice in your mind-speak. Don’t be afraid of failure, embrace it. Love. Love life. Love everyone. Appreciate everything you’ve been given. Don’t become upset with what you don’t have. Don’t rely on materials. Sleep. Drink plenty of water. Take little adventures. Run outside. Go hiking. Go for a walk. Go fishing. Sleep under the stars. Be deep. Express your love. Be thankful. Be fully present. Always show appreciation for everything. Stay present and mindful. Absorb the experiences that will one day leave you with a burning memory in the back of your mind. Eat healthy. Treat your body right. Forgive. Be selfless. Don’t care too much about appearance. Be honest.”

By: Meredith Illig

@meredith.rose.poetry

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Visual Thinking: Adopting New Perspectives

I took an Uber home today and the driver dropped me off at a location near my apartment that I’m not used to getting dropped off at. Initially I was a bit frustrated because I had to walk a couple yards further than normal.

But, as I was walking, I started to appreciate it because it gave me a new perspective that I needed at the time. It was mid-week, and I had been going through my same routine without too much thought - wake up, go to work, go home, etc. This small instance changed my mindset for a moment and bumped me out of my normal routine. The scenery had changed, and I saw my apartment from a new perspective which I hadn’t seen before.

This brought me back to when I first moved here. To my mindset, and to the excitement I had. I felt different, as if I adopted a new pair of lenses. My day felt different from the other ones, and it got me thinking that I need to break more patterns.

So I decided to go to the gym. I also sat on the bench at my apartment, peacefully enjoying nature. And I prayed for the first time in awhile.

I decided to break up my usual routine, and instead fill it with new perspectives.

It was refreshing.

I didn’t feel so robotic. I felt alive.

It’s important to change our routines from time to time. New perspectives bring forth creative thinking patterns.

If we stay on the same path everyday, chances are we’ll tend to have the same thoughts as we’ve always had. If we don’t evaluate our lives on a regular basis, we can easily fall into the trap of forming habits that are not conducive to a creative life.

We must evaluate and edit our lives on a frequent basis.


The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don't have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.”

-Chris Pine

bring visual thinking to your next project or event

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!

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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.
 

Spot Illustration: A One Word Story

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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!

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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!

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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

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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.