I used to think I couldn't draw without the aid of computer programs, but that was before I saw this TEDx talk. Like many others, I felt like I had given up on the ability to draw freehand once I was in my teens and my finger painting career was over.
I followed along with the activities described and was able to create these masterpieces.
Quite clearly, I've missed my calling as a painter, animator, or illustrator.
Now the point here is that I suck at drawing, but I also held onto the thought that because I sucked at drawing I should just completely avoid it.
I don't use freehand drawing in my work because I consider my skills worse than a 5 year-old, but 5 year-old level drawing still has a place in my industry. Freehand drawing has a place in instructional design.
Ole Qvist-Sørensen's TEDx talk has taught me that drawings can help have conversations, and you can spread that dialogue. There is something personal and authentic about drawing that you can't replicate with a computer. In a group, drawing together is thinking together. After all, we are all visual thinkers, so why try to inhibit that creativity?
I thnk by now it's obvious I need my own wing in an art gallery near you.
A lot of the time, especially when I am in the beginning stages of a project, I forego the keyboard and monitor and grab a pen and paper to draft an outline. Call me old school, but I find my creativity and ideas come faster than any computer program can keep up with, and I like the stream of consciousness and total lack of design adherence that comes with drafting.
Now I know the overall conclusion you want to draw from these videos is something like "I really should give drawing another go" and "maybe I'm short-changing myself on the impact personal illustrations can have in a presentation or learning" and I say YES that's totally what you should be thinking. But I want to take you a step further.
Draw your beginning stages of a project, even if they don't include drawings.
OK so a little context here. I am in the middle of trying to create an infographic on camping. I need to convey the key statistics from the 2017 North American Camping Report by the KOA (Kampgrounds of America), in a way which conveys the influence Millennials are having on the camping landscape. I eventually need to make this a visual experience, but with a 56 page report filled with text and graphs, I need a way to consolidate my thoughts and their findings in a way that I can translate into a graphic as I make my way through the text and pie charts and bar graphs. I find putting pen to paper, drawing lines, and circling key findings is a step in the process.
Here's my version of that exercise. There's no way you'll understand it, but that's OK because I understand it and I'm the only one who needs to.
Aside from demonstrating to you that I know how to write with a pen and I have better hand writing than your doctor, there's probably not much you can take away from this. But there's no more effective way for me. Similar to an infographic, you may find yourself in a position where drawing something, ANYTHING is more effective than text, a report, or a PowerPoint presentation. My advice is, "GO FOR IT!!". In the fast-paced world we live in, people tend to care more about the effectiveness of your message than the way it is conveyed. The best of course, is when you can do both.
Here's my draft to date of the infographic. It's still a work in progress, but it would look a lot worse if I tried to make this directly from the KOA report rather than including the intermediary step of "drawing" out my thoughts.