Going Beyond the Icon—#thinkdrawchallenge

Posted by | May 24, 2016


Recently I’ve been pushing myself to go beyond my tried-and-true visual icons. You know, the ones that feel like your most comfortable flannel pajamas that you wear every night. This doesn’t mean I’m practicing complicated versions of elephants and people, but rather I’ve been focusing on self-reflection and listening for meaning in the moment. It sounds complicated and time-consuming, but it’s really a quick gut-check before I draw something on the page.

How does it work? Before I draw, I ask myself two questions to make sure I’m creating the right visual for the client:
1) What are they trying to communicate? What’s the underlying meaning behind recent buzz words like innovationleadership, or fail forward? What makes this conversation different from others?
2) Does the image I’m about to draw really illustrate the concept at hand? Am I drawing this because it fits or because it’s fast?

Timeline for Responses

How do you do all this when all you have is seconds before the next big idea comes? Here’s the trick. I anchor blocks of content (text) around one picture. Yup. One. Drawing multiple pictures doesn’t communicate or add stickiness to the idea. Drawing the right picture at the right time delivers the message.

In this spirit, I’m challenging myself to think beyond my own library of icons—to THINK before I draw. You can be a part of this challenge too, as every week we’ll put out a concept (an idea, a headline or maybe even a 2-minute clip from an online talk). Take 15 minutes – and only 15 minutes – to think about the context first and then sketch out the idea. Try to draw it differently than how you would normally draw it—challenge yourself!

If visuals are at the core of our work, let’s work on pushing ourselves to create visuals that matter. #thinkdrawchallenge

Leave a Reply