As with all these exercises, don't think about it (yet) - just give it a go.
Find a photo - any photo with a person or animal in it.
Stick a speech bubble on top (electronically or just cut out a bit of paper)
Now walk away from the image and have a cup of tea.
If you're reading this after you read the last point then you haven't had a cup of tea - go and have a cup of tea.
Go back to your photo and add some text to the bubble.
At this point, I could point out that this activity activates a whole range of brain regions to connect visual memory to emotional interpretation and language functions. I could also point out that it does introduce certain graphic communication skills.
And I have to say I completely agree with this wholeheartedly - I do get quite annoyed by people who view doodling as some lower form of activity that represents meaninglessness, frivolity or time-wasting (teachers take note…).
What it actually represents is physical manifestation of one of the most significant forms of creative cognitive processes: de-focused divergent thinking. By de-focusing your prefrontal cortex and allowing other brain regions to generate new connections, you generate new thoughts. New thoughts = new ideas.
So, here’s the challenge. Don’t look at your sketchbook, look at the last bit of paper you scribbled on when you had a conversation on the phone. On there, is the next Dyson vacuum cleaner…
“Sketchbooks are not about being a good artist. They’re about being a good thinker.”
The 94 elements project aims to produce a film based on each element but centred on the human relation to that element in our world. Some of the elements were really surprising in terms of how we use them (and , of course, how much we use of them).
In terms of design education, what I really like about this is the fact that it’s another ‘seed’ project - the basic idea is given but then built on individually to generate some really interesting and creative responses to it.
What is really interesting is the cultural perspective you get from the film, never once acknowledging the external sources of these ‘styles’ (and even using phrases such as ‘Stylistic invasion’). It’s all very Pevsner…
But, if you remember the histo-cultural filter, it’s quite interesting.