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Been drawing thoughts. It’s all I can draw.

2012 December 9

Drawing your thoughts is a great way to visualise your thinking. Drawing forces you to conceptualise, to prioritise, to explain. And it helps to put tacit knowledge to paper. I have been a fan of drawing, remember drawing for hours during class in the back of my notebook. I never was too fond of drawing in between the lines.., it is the kind of restriction that bars imagination and innovative thinking. Clearly, my drawing skills have not improved much since then. But it is ok for drawing to have that child-like aura. That paper notebook has been replaced by a digital one with the great Paper app by FiftyThree. I posted some of them on Tumblr, just for the sake of sharing.

Pure MathematicsDrawing as serious business
A few years ago I was fortunate to visit the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Cambridge. One of the things I recall (apart from the topology part of the building and hearing Stephen Hawking speak) are the ubiquitous chalk boards. They were just about everywhere, including the toilets, and all had formulae written all over them. Many were half finished, or at least seemed to be. Some formula resembled numeric poetry.

At work, we tend to have (and use) an abundance of whiteboards. I do miss the smell of chalk talks and the markers are not even a cheaper replacement. These whiteboards are not just there for flow charts, but rather for landscapes of interconnected thoughts. They serve as -and act like-  an open invitation to unleash creativity from the right side of the brain. In my opinion, every well thought out sketch outweighs all (business) plan prose. Drawing is serious business.


Drawing for everyone
Everyone can draw and napkins are a good place to start (as are beer coasters). Dan Roam does a good job with his “The back of a napkin” book and method. While googling him I found the good man was just in Amsterdam and I missed his workshop. Maybe next time…

A final remark while I draw this post to a close: I guess most people must think before they can draw. But sometimes, just drawing gets you thinking as well.

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