Many people want to incorporate more visual thinking in their day to day work, and the easiest way to do so is to start drawing every day! Besides exercising the more creative side of your brain it will strengthen your pitching and presentation abilities and will certainly give you a boost with your everyday note-taking.
Here are nine tips that can help you out in your visual journey:
1. Don’t be scared
In our “instant gratification” culture we think that we should be masters of our craft from day one, but you need to be comfortable with mistakes and accept them. Fear surely didn’t stop the architect of the Tower of Pisa!
2. Start small
It seems crazy but every serious artist starts exactly the same: by drawing simple lines and shapes. In fact, no matter how complicated, every drawing is composed of simple shapes.
3. Draw inspiration from your surroundings
Da Vinci said that drawing is being able to “see well”. I would argue that drawing is 80% observing a subject well enough for it to be recognizable. Start by drawing faces; it’s something that we see a lot in the Covid-19 age thanks to all of our Zoom calls. I try to always make simple portraits of my coworkers on our weekly team meetings.
4. Try to doodle everyday
Drawing is just like a muscle; if you don’t train it, it will slowly regress. Try to doodle in every dead moment of the day. I really love the 4 icon challenge by Klye Tezak where he breaks down stories into four icons while keeping the narrative intact. Try it out and you’ll be surprised with how many movies you can come up with!
5. Have reasonable goals in mind
Always have attainable daily goals like learning how to draw ears or how to draw banners. I recommend adding Goals to your Google calendar; it really helps to have an alert on when to start drawing or just to have a break from your hectic work from home schedule.
6. Try to leave the clichés at the door
A great way to visualize is to stick with metaphors. If you want to visualize a challenge a lot of people start thinking about stormy clouds or a big mountain. Those are pretty great representations but they have been done to death. Try to think, “how have writers & poets chosen to represent it?” This time I went with Cerberus the three-headed dog that posed a challenge to many Greek heroes.
7. Have a drawing buddy/rival
Everybody wants to become a better artist and someone in your organization can be a friend and rival who will join you in your adventures of the pen. Just like going to the gym if you have someone to keep accountable it will become much easier to make drawing a daily habit.
8. Develop your own style
As you get better, slowly you will start to notice distinct quirks. When you realize those unique moments expand on them. At first it seems difficult to develop a style but it all comes out of copying and understanding the greats; be sure to try out the 9 styles challenge. It always gets me out of a creative rut!
9. Have a laugh and take a break!
Remember to always have fun with your drawings and don’t take projects too seriously! If something is not working, sleep on it. A fresh set of eyes always has a better perspective the next day.
Always have fun and make sure to tag #dotank with your sketches!