Friday, January 02, 2015

Better ideas come from sketching it out

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+ There once was a time in high school when I had a teacher tell me that I shouldn't draw or doodle in my notebook because it wastes ink. I found it very funny, both ha-ha and odd. Sure, he was a science teacher but that just seemed too Spock-like in its logic.

A google search of "Why do we doodle" turns up this interesting BBC story about humans being hardwired to doodle. An article in Smashing Magazine talks about doodling as a way to help us retain information. Time published an article about a study done in England that also showed it helps you pay attention.

Move forward to the corporate world where we are surrounded by folks who have meetings to discuss meetings (seriously this is crazy to me). It's no wonder that you'll find me doodling in my notebook. But often what I'm doodling is tied to what we're talking about. If it's a new campaign, I might start sketching out some rough ideas. If it's a sales meeting, it might be thoughts around ways we can make improvements.

Creatives these days don't pick up paper and pencil or pen like they used to. We lose something in the immediacy of computers and Adobe. Sketching and doodling while brainstorming has always been one of my favorite things in the concepting process. And no, I'm not a skilled illustrator by any sense of the word. But, I can draw things out to get a sense of what the idea might be or how it might be communicated. Stick figures and simple lines. Tracing even works sometimes if necessary (windows are great for this). But, just talking about ideas and then going straight to computer roughs skips a key step in the process.

Sketching and doodling while talking through an idea can lead to better solutions for solving problems. Seeing how something might work or playing around with various elements in a quick, less permanent way can keep your brain flowing more uninhibitedly. Shapes and simple drawings that are less of a commitment keep you agile in your thinking. It's all part of the iterative process that goes into coming up with great creative ideas.

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