I’m a great believer in the power of pen and paper. Give me a slightly wonky hand drawn picture over clip art any day of the week.
As Dan Roam says in The Back of The Napkin, ‘The hand is mightier than the mouse’.
But just what is it about hand drawn images that make them so great?
Firstly, the more human our communication is the more effective it is. Hand drawn images are an outward sign of that humanity.
What an insight we receive when we see how someone draws.
How refreshing, how disarming almost, to see something that like us, is not perfect.
Secondly, when we create images on a computer we often find ourselves wrestling with a piece of software* whose functionality never quite matches up to the power of our imagination.
And it’s so small, that screen, so…confined. It can make our thinking confined too.
Thirdly (and crucially), it is the physical act of putting pen to paper that is so powerful. It engages the right hand side – the creative side – of our brain. It is that creativity that stimulates and feeds idea generation.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen delegates on my courses start with a blank sheet of paper and then think, ‘Oh hang on. Maybe we can do this. Or if we scratch that out we can do that…’ and so forth.
How powerful is it in an age where idea generation is so key to human flourishing to have a tool so cheap, so quick, so accessible.
The power is in your hands!
Do come and join me on April 26th 2019 for some in person practice. I can’t wait.
*There are software programmes which allow you to draw directly on the screen (Adobe Illustrator and SketchbookPro to name a few) which is great. Start with pen and paper though. Otherwise you’re learning how to draw and learning how to use a software programme at the same time. And despite many protests to the contrary research shows that the brain just isn’t good at multitasking!
In my line of work I am very much focussed on the ROI of graphics. What return will people get as a result of using these tools? What change will occur and what’s important about that?
Graphics is still new to many organisations and as such I have a role in educating others about the meaning of graphics and graphic facilitation as well as extoling the many benefits.
Sometimes though, we simply need to draw for drawing’s sake.
I find drawing particularly useful when it comes to dealing with and processing emotions. When you wake up to sad news, when your head is fuzzy with overthinking, when you just can’t face logging into your computer.
Conversely drawing is powerful when you are at the other end of the emotional spectrum. Ever find yourself giddy with excitement, bursting with love, hyper with enthusiasm?
Grab your marker and start doodling. Tune into the first image that comes into your mind and draw that. Keep drawing. Draw some more. Add words and colour. Get messy, get neat, find freedom and space on the blank in front of you.
What follows is a sense of connection and clarity, a tuning in, a refinement of your emotions.
Above are my scribbles for a Tuesday lunchtime.
What are yours?