I’m always getting asked why drawings and the act of drawing makes such a difference. For me whatever I’m doing and wherever I may be doing it – it’s major. And because I’ve been breaking bad I’ve thought a bit about it. Even did a sketch.
Worth saying up front that the quality of drawing is irrelevant to the power of what follows.
We’ve all witnessed the power of that childlike scrawl – a crayon on a table top in a meeting – napkin in the restaurant. It has a charm. Often the one iconic moment of breakthrough in a tough situation – destined to become part of folklore. “Ah – Jessie’s Hedgehog Drawing! – It’s been our strategy for years…” Forever immortalised.
Here’s the list of things – the reasons that sprang to my mind:
- A Mental Work-Out – The act of drawing forces different parts of your mind and your body to work. This activity causes new patterns and ideas to form. That’s always good.
- Rapid Idea Exchange – It’s a really really seriously fast way to get an idea across to someone and in a way that words often don’t seem capable of doing.
- Seriously Engaging - I’ve not found a better medium to engage others by. At the end of a meeting when we sketch there is a significantly higher order of relationship. And later the recall of the meeting skyrockets.
- Value Exchanged – A sketch is a transportable thing. These days even a smartphone capture – voice over next day or week – shared somehow still means major progress in whatever context.
- Forming New Inventions – Even without an audience a sketch can help you structure those loosely formed ideas in your head. Even without any idea in your head at all – that blank sheet and a pencil or marker can fire up the imagination causing amazing ideas to emerge.
- An Agreement Machine – Making a visual rather than text based ‘thing’ creates a far faster tool for agreement. Because people can see something they can agree or disagree far quicker. That allows for real progress.
- Waste Disposal – Removing the clutter from all the idea is at the heart of what happens when you are forced to turn it into a sketch. This means that your sketch strips away everything that needing be there.
- A Union Of Mankind – Creates a level playing field for a conversation that goes beyond the words – sketching seems primal and causes a more visceral attachment to the ideas.
Whether it’s aimless fun or serious application it’s a tool for countless applications. Dive in y’all.