One Squiggly Line Blog

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

Visual Thinking: Real-Time Illustrated Visual Notes

I had the pleasure of drawing for the wonderful NetApp folks at their Insight conference in Las Vegas. Instead of drawing the keynotes or break-out sessions, they placed me in The Cube, a live-stream video platform.Check out the replay!

As you can see above, I was positioned near the speakers. I drew while they talked and was pretty much finished when they stopped. While the focus of the live-streaming was the speakers, I appeared in the background and during breaks.

The visual notes were then displayed where people could continue to discuss the content throughout the conference.

These were drawn on 40"x60" foam core board with Neuland markers.

onesquigglyline_visualthinking_netapp

Here's another image I created at NetApp Insight last month. I was given a quote from the press and asked to make make it visual. There was no pre-planning — I just picked up a marker and started to draw it out...in front of the camera!

This was drawn on a 30"x40" foam core board and took 23 minutes to draw. The final video is on their blog where you can watch me draw it in 26 seconds.

This is just another way hand-drawn visuals can help bring information to life!

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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 & Creativity: Visualize it Richly & Colorfuly!

There's so much more to visual thinking than doodles and diagrams! While physical drawings are a great way to help you think and communicate more clearly, there's a lot happening in that brain of yours before you even pick up a marker. The ability to see things clearly with your mind's eye, your imagination, is where it all begins.

To strengthen your visual thinking skills and boost your creativity, look at the picture above. Really study it for a few minutes. Pay close attention to the details, not just the overall image. The close your eyes and form a really clear picture in your head of the picture you were just looking at. Describe it out loud as accurately and thoroughly as possible, including as many details as you can.

To take it a step further, when you open your eyes, draw the image you just described. If you get stuck, close your eyes and try to see the image of the original drawing in your head instead of going back to the original picture.

You can do this alone or with a partner. Just remember the goal is to see the image as clearly and accurately as possible. No judging!

This exercise not only strengthens your visual thinking abilities and boosts your creativity, it also increases your observational skills, gives your memory quite a work out, and makes you a bit more articulate, too!