Reset to positive

Working visually rocks(...just say no to negative conditioning!)

We can all draw.  A lucky few of us get that nurtured in us as children, and if you're one of those lucky few, then as adult you may well have dabbled in some creative pastimes, or even ended up working professionally (or unprofessionally...who am I to judge!) in the creative industries. Woohoo!

The sad fact is though that many of us don’t get our creativity nurtured as children. In fact it's my view that historically, school has been pretty good at knocking your creative mojo out of you. You get conditioned to thinking you can't draw.

NOW when I say that we can all draw, I don’t mean we could all paint a masterpiece or illustrate the front page of The New Yorker. The people who can do that are exceptional. Rare. But we all have elements of those same skills buried within us. It is innate within us.

I've been training people to work more visually for years and almost without fail the vast majority of people start the session by saying, "I can't draw". 

One of the first things I often ask people to do is draw a lightbulb. 

Have a go.

Lightbulb exercise:

Grab a pen and a post it and draw a lightbulb from memory. 

(I'd love it if you could send me a snap of your lightbulb over on twitter or insta @graphicchange #drawabetterbusiness)

lightbulbs graphic change ltd

Even though the lightbulbs you can see here are all entirely different, you can tell they're all lightbulbs. Brilliant! You can draw well enough to work visually. That's all we need. 

Reset to positive - start working visually

I was working with the Leadership Team of a utilities company a few months ago. We had a day of creative activities and thought provoking presentations, all captured in a big graphic record. At the end of the two days one of the Senior Engineers came over to me and said, “All my life I never thought I was creative until today. I never knew all these different ways of doing things existed, and now I’ve had a go and found out that I’m quite good at them. I’m creative!”

Well that is music to my ears. Little gives me more pleasure than seeing people rediscover their creativity. So be kind to yourself. If you're not already working visually, your creative muscles will need a bit of warming up. So here's another exercise to get you started.

Circles exercise:

This is an exercise developed by Bob McKim of IDEO.

Get a cup or another smallish circular object and draw round it to give yourself a circle.

Repeat. Fill your page with circles.

Now grab a pen. How many of the circles can you turn into something else? The only rule is that the circle has to be a part of the object. I've filled one in to get you started.


Don’t worry if the ideas are silly or fantastical. Set yourself a time limit of 5 minutes and off you go, see how many you can fill in?!

Now if you're wondering what the point of all this is, then I'm gonna refer you back to my last two posts: 

Reasons to work visually #1 and #2

Suffice to say, working visually rocks. It rocks for you and for anyone you're communicating with, so come on : ) get with the programme, pick up your pens and draw more. What have you got to lose?!

Cara works with individuals and businesses helping them to get the benefits of working visually, and is author of the upcoming book Draw a Better Business. If you want to find out more about working visually or if you want to join one of Cara's online courses to learn the skills you need get in touch.

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