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Making it Visual: Twitter Draw-a-Thon and Takeaways

In: DesignShowing my Work

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have been treated (or tortured?) with my submissions for Blair Rorani’s really fun Twitter draw-a-thon #everybodydrawnow, that he hosted as a promo for his ebook. It was a great promotion and I plan to buy the book myself. But I also took away some great lessons during the process.

I Can’t Draw

Honestly, that’s what I’ve thought all my life. As I may have mentioned before, before grad school, I never even thought of myself as a visual person. I always thought that all I could work with was words. But since that time, I’ve developed a stronger and stronger growth mindset. With a few exceptions, I’m starting to see that with some time and practice, I can learn to do just about anything, and that includes making a passable drawing. This draw-a-thon ignited my desire to delve further into drawing and develop my abilities.

My process

For some of the drawings, I traced some parts and for all of them I used a reference photograph. So I’d like to start practicing drawing smaller visual elements suitable for visualizations, visual explanations, and sketch notes from scratch. To that end, I’ve started a practice Tumblr, Visilang. If you’re a Tumblr’er feel free to follow me there! I switched back and forth between Paper by FiftyThree and Adonit’s Forge app. Right now, I really like Forge for more complex drawings and for coloring because you can use layers but as I transition towards simpler elements, I think I may use Paper for a more distraction-free work area.

How Drawing Helps

I’m sure you’ve seen other posts and articles about it, but I really believe that visualizing things, even with a quick sketch can be a great way to communicate. I really want to explore this in my own instructional design career and conversations. The better I get at sketching out ideas quickly, the more effectively I’ll be able to explain my ideas to colleagues, bosses, and subject matter experts. If you aren’t drawing, I really hope you’ll give it a go.

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The Drawings

In cased you missed them, take a look at all 15 days of drawing madness!

Day 1: Boy
Day 2: Bucket of water
Day 3: Money
Day 4: Dog
Day 5: Old man with a beard
Day 6: Poster
Day 7: Princess
Day 8: Water Gun
Day 9: Hamburger
Day 10: Chef
Day 11: Cowboy
Day 12: Bear
Day 13: Minivan
Day 14: Tower
Day 15: Sheep