If you can write letters, you can draw.”
That’s what I told myself when I signed up for the one day visualization training “Faszinieren am Flipchart”. I want to get better in drawing and visual note taking. Because drawing while meeting is fun and helps to capture the essential. Sketching helps me think. And it is useful for groups too; I experienced more often that grabbing (spontaneously) a pen and starting to visualize an issue supports joint understanding.
The training “Faszinieren am Flipchart” with Cornelia Kauhs was playful and inspiring. We produced many flipcharts. And Cornelia convinced me that all it needs to become a drawer is practice and some tricks.
Here my 3 lessons:
#1 Stick to 2-3 colors
One of the first points Cornelia insisted on was the material: have your own board markers to be on the safe side, as the ones you find in the meeting room are too often too weak, and keep your posters simple and clear by using 2-3 colors: black as basic, grey for shade and one color to highlight; add wax crayons or pastel to make posters stronger.
#2 Have more shareable posters by preparing them ahead of a workshop
I restarted drawing about two years ago. In the meantime I dare to doodle openly, with simple stick figures I manage quite well. But I must admit that the end product looks rather messy, understandable to the people involved, but often not shareable with a wider audience.
Here Cornelia’s advice is useful, she suggests to have posters that are:
- Either prepared and drawn; or
- half prepared and half drawn; or
- prepared but not yet drawn; or
I like the canvas Design for Action. I can draw it before the meeting. To get more organized in my doodling and my drawing I will think more ahead of a meeting how I could visualize smartly.
#3 Develop a visual vocabulary
My most important take away message is to work on my visual vocabulary. A good visual vocabulary is the foundation for:
- Taking notes visually
- Sketching a process
- Drawing situations
Zeichnen? Man muss gut kopieren können.
I searched for an easy icon for ‘change of perspective’. After several trials I came up with the stick figure making a headstand. I was pleased, this one I will keep in mind. And here some more of my newly developed vocabulary.
Luckily there is help and inspiration. Here my three favorites:
- Biklabo: These books are just an endless treasure.
- And as always Nancy White sharing generously her resources: Visual Work and Thinking.
- A Google search for drawings, icons or cartoons is always helpful.
When I know how to draw certain key words or concepts; not only does it get easier, I also become faster. A stock of icons I frequently use allows me to draw more complex posters or even stories. And this is really something that interests me. And now: practice – practice – practice.
How do you draw ‘change of perspective’ ? What are your favorite icons?
- Dave Grey with the squiggle birds and about the visual thinking school
- XPLANE Doodling 101
- Doug Neil from Verbal to Visual: why developing a visual vocabulary is a good place to start and ideas for organizing your visual vocabulary
- Get inspired by masters; Eva-Lotta Lamm gives an overview of books about sketching and visual thinking
- And there is even an App!