Discovering Your Inner Artist


This week in Creative Designs for Instructional Materials we reviewed and participated in two Ted Talks that convinced me that I should work harder at drawing.

The first talk, by Ole Qvist-Sørensen, talked about how as visual learners, we often overlook the importance of drawing, and drawing together as a means for creating group understanding and helping people come together to create ideas and movements. The second talk by Graham Shaw, went through a series of simple ways that anyone following a few basic instructions, can learn to draw a range of characters with a variety of expressions. Finally the ultimate goal of the assignment was to draw the process of making toast.

I have to admit I was skeptical. I have always considered myself a non-artist. I figured I would really struggle with this assignment and doubted my ability to complete it. What I found, however, was that this was indeed possible, and it gave me a whole new look at some great reasons why I should work harder to be able to draw simple pictures to be able to better communicate and get my ideas across in a visual format.

Here's the drawing I completed for the process of making toast. This drawing actually tells the story about when I was 8 years old and decided that the toast would be so much better if I buttered it first to get some nice melty butter on my toast. I ended up lighting my kitchen on fire. Okay, so it's not a Monet, but still, I was actually pretty impressed with my ability to be able to tell a story with my drawings.

I found this to be not only a fun exercise, but also a meaningful one as it helped to build my confidence in my ability to try something I have always thought I couldn't do at all, and a look at the importance of working toward learning and trying to draw.

As both an e-learning designer and a live instructor and presenter, I often find myself in situations where I wished I could draw things to help learners understand information better. I am convinced that I need to work to try drawing more and also to draw more together with learners and colleagues.

These were really great Ted Talks. I would encourage everyone to view them and participate in the exercises. I will definitely be sharing these with my learning team at work.


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