05 February 2006

Visual thinking practice: Letting go

By Chris Brogan

We carry within us a certain need for things to "look right." To some, this extends to perfectionism. For others, it can become a bad case of writer's block (or artist's block). This exercise attempts to prove that you are capable of communicating through images based on your willful intent, and not the perfection of the lines you draw.

Take your sketchpad and pen/pencil of choice, close your eyes, and just draw all over the page. Try variations on physical sensations, like long flowing arcs and short, zippery, zig-zags. We're just loosening up your mind and your hand. Fall off the page. Who cares? Spread out and do big circles, and little ones. Pick the pen up and let it come down a few times. Try this for 60 seconds or so.

On a fresh page, close your eyes and draw two figures in some kind of situation. It can be as basic as two people standing around waiting for the bus. Focus on their roundish heads, their shoulders, how their arms move away from their bodies. Don't be afraid to pick the pen up, if you want. See if you can get them to convey an emotion, or a scene.

On a fresh page, close your eyes and draw a face. Try drawing someone famous, or someone you know. This time, think about the person, and think of things other than visual queues to who they are. Robert Di Nero is jumpy. Madonna is slinky. Shaq is powerful and yet playful. Can your non-visual self find the imagery in just the flow of your pencil?

Try doing this for two minutes. Take a fresh page, close your eyes, and just go. Think about your life. Think about things you have to get done in the coming days. Think about what's bugging you, what\'s making you happy. And do it with your pen or pencil moving. Try pouring some of what you're feeling, or scenes, or bodies, onto the page with your eyes closed. See what comes of it.

And post your results to the Visual Thinking School blog. It'd be great to hear your thoughts and feeling on this exercise when you're done.

Visual thinking is the practice of using pictures to enhance your ability to solve problems, think about complex issues and communicate effectively. You can learn more about visual thinking in visual thinking school.

Q: (Is this what you were looking for, Dave?)

A: (Yes Chris :))

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Anonymous said...

we have this need cause of our cognition with the natural world, we cant go very far away from this cognition, for example, i strawbery is a strabery, not a shape of V, altho a shape of V in place of a strabery,is not bad if you dont care about perfection,

dan. said...

I like that. I allready knew most of the things you are wruting, but it's good to read it again.

Unknown said...

Thanks dan.!