Mind-maps: do they work, are they any good?
In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of mind-maps, why, because I felt they were very one dimensional, very flat and just didn’t excite me at all……..however….
All that changed when I discovered mind-map art a few weeks ago. I was not inspired by my previous contact with mind-maps and had also let this little gem (mind-map art) slip right past me.
I am now addicted and can’t wait to start a new one. What better way to embellish a concept or idea, renew inspiration and aid creativity, than with mind-map art. So what’s the difference you may well ask. Mind-map art is far more visual!
Join with me and see if you agree…
as this week I am making mind-map art and my topic of choice is….leaves! Only because I know I can draw them fairly easily and quickly.
- Using text in a design is something I really want to explore further. Calligraphy and text in graphic art used creatively can really grab the viewer’s attention and after all, this is exactly what mind-mapping is all about; exploring concepts through words and grabbing people’s attention visually through the design.
- This is the first time I’ve worked this way, so I’m very much in unchartered territory, but that’s fine. I wanted to illustrate the steps I went through to show that there is a lot more to mind-maps than I first thought.
- The word ‘leaves’ above, reminds me of the Life Saver packs from years ago – but even when I thought about that, leaves are indeed life savers, so how appropriate!
- I listed absolutely everything that came to mind about leaves – and this is where it became really interesting. When I design, I normally have a concept in mind and am very focussed on that, so working this way felt very loose and a little scary.
- The more words I jotted down, the deeper my concept became. For instance I noted environmental art and the work of Andy Goldsworthy. His work is stunning; he uses natural elements to produce outstanding and mesmerising art. Then I thought of our sense of smell and basil, rosemary, thyme and freshly cut grass came to mind. Beautiful. I even researched silkworms and found that 90% of India’s silk production was a result of feeding the silkworms a diet of mulberry leaves.
- It was a mess, but I had loads of words/ideas all relating back to leaves and here is where I became hooked. It was time to design, to add colour and make it come to life!
- At this point, all sorts of ideas came to mind on how to connect the words. I could use intertwining tree branches or sinuous, serpentine vines. This was fun – and I was using leaves to design almost unconciously!
- The paper used was long and narrow, but I enjoyed utilising the unusual shape.
At the end of the day, I could spend hours and hours working on mind-map concepts this way and I believe that my time was valuably spent. Even if I don’t use any of this in a design, I now have a blueprint for what works for me.
This technique has me hooked and is one I will certainly use in the future.
So, would a mind-map work for you? I urge anyone wanting to explore a concept or idea to give this a go. Just start with a word or phrase, some beautiful white paper, pencils, rubber, fine tip black pen and some good coloured markers and open your mind. Let the words flow. The time just flew, which is always a good barometer for creativity.
Quote of the week:
‘Once an object has been incorporated into a picture, it accepts a new destiny’.
A finished ‘Leaves’ mind map!