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Making illustration part of your daily routine

“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” ― Jillian Michaels

Part of my job as a creative here at The Kinetic is to always look for quicker more effective ways to design and illustrate. In order to improve and develop my skills, I experiment with different ideas, mediums, styles and methods in a visual journal.

 

There are a lot of benefits in keeping a visual journal. Cathy Malchiodi, an art therapist and research psychologist, believes that visual journaling reduces stress and enables you to reflect on your experiences. Malchiodi used visual journaling as a treatment for people who have gone through traumatic events. She believes that expressing their emotions through visual journaling can help them come to terms with their experience and also teach them to self-soothe, de-stress, and self-regulate.

 

Cathy Malchiodi states that doodling enforces the links between thinking and feeling, bringing the narrative and sensory memory together. Making visual exploration part of my daily routine not only gives me the confidence to use different illustration styles when designing for a client but  also gives me the platform to deepen my understanding of my ideas, leading me to stronger concepts that engage with implicit and explicit memory. For further reading, consult Psychology Today.

 

My studies taught me that everything needs a purpose, a bigger idea, ‘a grand concept’. I felt pressured to create something meaningful and extraordinary every time I picked up a pencil. In my opinion, an idea is an idea no matter how small. A small idea can lead to a bigger concept. Visual journaling is about exploring and discovering; not every entry needs to be a masterpiece.  Rich Goidel, a business strategist and group facilitator claims that keeping a visual journal has enabled him to capture the essence of objects with fewer lines and colour.

 

Start doodling today. How does one get into the habit of drawing every day? It is easier said than done. In our busy schedules, a small drawing might not seem as important as the 50 emails from that one client that urgently needs you to make changes to a very important project, stat.

 

I set up a weekly challenge in order to inspire me to incorporate illustration into my daily routine. Here are a few tips that could help you on this journey to self-discovery:

 

  1. Tell your friends or colleagues that you are taking up a challenge; announce it on Instagram, Behance, or any other form of social media to ensure that you keep motivated.
  2. Be brave and daring;draw even if it is ugly, you can always go back and rework the idea if you want to. Chou Tac Chung, a product designer from Singapore, believes ugly drawings boost confidence and helps you see the true shape of the object.
  3. Start off small. A sketch doesn’t need to take 2 hours, you can draw while you are on the phone with your mom discussing your Sunday family lunch plans.  
  4. You do not need to solve every single idea. Write them down, your brain will work on them while you’re busy with other work stuff.
  5. If you don’t know what to draw, illustrate your to-do list, something ‘punny’, or rework a previous illustration. Hopefully, you will eventually develop the skill to draw whatever comes to mind.
  6. Finally, enjoy yourself.

 

The outcome? A happier, healthier you.

Journal entries
Journal entries
Rework: Pondering hipster
Rework: King of Swing

References :

 

http://www.dangerouskitchen.com/ten-benefits-of-a-visual-journal/

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/518651-it-s-not-about-perfect-it-s-about-effort-and-when-you

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201310/visual-journaling-self-regulation-and-stress-reduction-0

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201401/doodling-your-way-more-mindful-life

http://www.thedesignsketchbook.com/you-have-to-make-a-ton-of-ugly-doodle-to-succeed/