What are the Idea Shapers?
Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and pen.
With visual thinking that piece of paper can:
- Give you a place to offload your overwhelm
- Hold all the factors going into a difficult decision
- Be a safe space to let out complicated feelings
- Become a map of your next project
- Chart out the relationships between people in a community
And about eleven-umpteen other things.
I am here to help you tackle life's challenges with paper and pen.
I broke down the complexity of visual thinking in very accessible, oh-so-learnable pieces.
In fact, my goal was to make each piece so frickin' straightforward that when I explain it you say, "Well, duh."
Beyond the "duh," I teach you the nuance of the tools and the choices you have. How different choices make different types of meaning.
Let's take my favorite idea shaper to start with. My gateway drug into the visual thinking habit.
This idea shaper is drawing a line between two ideas to connect them.
Yes, and there's limitless ways to show how two ideas are related through simple lines.
Let's swap out ideas or text snippets with faces to personify this technique.
In the three examples below, how would you describe the relationships between A and B given the lines between them?
We start out with the style of line; a dotted line instead of a solid one. This type of line can symbolize possibility, potential, something uncertain or unknown.
A may be uncertain if they recognize B. Perhaps A is wondering if B is a potential friend or possible foe.
Here we changed the style of the line making it a zigzag. Those sharp edges could connote tension between the two.
Here A and B equally disdain each other. The red-orange color can amplify the emotion.
Changing one end of the line into an arrowhead instantly creates a movement. Now using direction, A looks like the aggressor bullying B.
Again, we are also using arrow to show direction.
Now we added two new choices: Line thickness and a disruption in the line.
A has a much stronger attraction to B.
B doesn't return the interest. There's no personal relationship as far as B is concerned.
Adding color and a label of an American bill defines the relationship even more:
Now these two lines could illustrate A as a fan of B. The money could be paying for a concert ticket, an anonymous donation to someone in need, or an OnlyFans subscription.
Three examples of simple lines -- ones that anyone can draw -- that are packed with meaning.
They're fricking great and one of my all-time faves to teach.
Let's talk about how to master Connectors.*
Of course, you can run with this concept and explore line weight, style, color, the ends (like arrows) and labels right now on your own.
Practice Connectors to your ❤️'s content and make your own discoveries.
Hands-on practice is always, always a crucial part of visual thinking.
I can't insert a cartridge in the back of your head like a Speak N' Spell and instantly impart a robust visual vocabulary of Connectors.
But I get darn close.
- Think visual thinking is only for the folks tapped with the artistic talent stick?
- Worry that visual thinking is too complicated to learn?
- Concerned learning visual thinking will be a time suck?
I hope A, B and me has already shown you how easy visual thinking can be.
*Or any of these 24 idea shapers. Heck, even all 24.
The Connector is one of 24 idea shapers.
Keep scrolling for the briefest introductions to all of our The Connector's 23 buddies.
Between sections, I share ways to learn together.
Your blank sheet of paper can become anything.
This is what makes learning visual thinking daunting.
Your blank sheet of paper can become ✨anything.✨
This is what makes having learned visual thinking ✨indespensible.✨
On this page, I'm ordering the tools in the order that I introduced them in my 2016 book, The Idea Shapers: The power of putting your thinking into your own hands.
The 24 idea shapers are organized into 5 steps I shared in my 2013 TEDxWindyCity talk, Shape Your Thinking.
Step 1 | CHUNK
Identify and isolate discrete, relevant ideas from a big messy pile.
The Idea Shapers for Chunking are:
Do you prefer to learn by reading?
The Idea Shapers is a robust reference teaching you all 24 idea shapers.
Want a sneak peek?
Sign up below to join my mailing list and get immediate access to the chapter, "The Properties and Powers of Drawing."
100% privacy. Unsubscribe any time.
Step 2 | SORT + GROUP
Arranging related chunks of information into useful groupings
The Idea Shapers for Sorting are:
The Idea Shapers for Grouping are:
Step 3 | CONNECT + CONTAIN
Using lines and shapes to express relationships
The Idea Shapers for Connecting are:
The Idea Shapers for Containing are:
Step 4 | SCALE
Adjusting size to shift thinking and create organization
The Idea Shapers for Scaling the Size of the Canvas are:
The Idea Shaper for Scaling the Size of Ideas are:
Step 5 | Grasp
Strengthening your drawing and making meaning from it
The Idea Shapers for Grasping are:
Share "What are the Idea Shapers?"
Don't miss a new article.
Join 3000+ visual thinkers getting Brandy's weekly resources via email.
Your data is safe. Unsubscribe at anytime.