Just imagine if you were able to draw your thoughts. You have an image in your mind, but the words don’t quite do that image justice. Being able to translate that image from visually in your head to visually in the physical world is a gift. A well-earned gift since people go to school for years to learn that skill.
This week, I stumbled onto an academic paper from 2015 about communicating visually in the field of biology. (Unless you’re a PhD, you probably won’t want to read it, pretty sciency stuff). This early sentence jumped out at me.
“In a recent study of faculty perceptions of teaching the process of science in biology, drawing or making models was not included among the 22 science skills assessed”
The paper goes on to address an underappreciated reason drawing is great: it facilitates better learning:
Drawing builds focus and concentration
Drawing makes mental images last longer
Drawing develops observational skill and attention to detail
Drawing improves hand-eye coordination
Drawing builds problem solving skills
Drawing helps our brain free associate
Step 4 of my Weekly Innovator (aka design sprint) workshop asks teams to “prototype their new idea”. That often comes down to drawing the thing they are talking about, to give it dimension and character. In the picture above, a team member shares their drawing that depicts a new approach for selling membership.
Visual models, even primitive drawings, tell a much richer story than any outline of a new idea we come up with. And, it turns out, it benefits us in the meantime, regardless of what field we’re in.
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.