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I am back on the mainland and blogging from Seattle with South Austin in the rearview mirror. Don't worry Virgin Island fans, I will most certainly be back in the Caribbean for visits if not full-time. And I'm sure St. Thomas will creep it's way into many future posts. For now, it's all about living in the Pacific Northwest!

January 23, 2013

Visual Thinking Stuff! This is stuff you can do too!

Stuff I Notice VisualA few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend Allison Crow's workshop on Visual Thinking.  She is an engaging and accomplished speaker, graphic facilitator and recorder...
and she made a BIG impression on me.

At the registration desk, they handed me a new set of markers.  I was as excited about my brand new markers as I had been in grade school. Before I knew it, I was removing the caps and smelling the tips. Why do I do that?  At this point, I still wasn't sure what we were doing but I couldn't wait to get started! Our first introduction to visual thinking began with You Tube and vihart.  I've since watched many of her videos but I've included one of my favorites.

While watching, I couldn't resist the urge to doodle myself. Why not? I had everything I needed. Didn't I? As it turns out, I didn't. While I have some capabilities in the doodle department, it turns out that a little inspiration and instruction goes a long way.

With some practice in just four simple areas, I was able to communicate much much more. Beginning with the basics:


Big and bold catches the eye and there are endless ways you use these when titling areas of your graphic. Then move on to symbols, bullets and containers. Once you've got that going, challenge yourself. 

We doodled all morning, we doodled all afternoon. We drew clocks and animals, card people and star people and stick figures doing all kinds of things.

The result for me was a shift in how I take in what is being said around me, the way I toss it around in my mind, capture it and store it away. Storing what I choose to keep in these brightly colored packages is already making it easier for me to identify the right package at the right time and recall the information. Could it help you too?

Here is my 1st try at capturing a live meeting. This was a high level strategy meeting (the first of 2013) and a perfect test case for my new talent.  Well, perfect opportunity to practice anyway!

Google images is a great place to look for inspiration and ideas. There are countless other programs and applications available for download to your smart device so you can practice on the go. I've chosen to begin with Sketchbook Pro

I'm going to keep practicing and if I practice enough... I'm not holding my breath hoping to be as good as Allison Crow or any of the others who do this professionally and have true artistic talent. But I'm going to keep trying because it gives my creative flag a chance to fly.

For more inspiration, visit some of the amazing graphics in Allison's portfolio on her site at Crow Hill Conversations.

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