These visual thoughts are often created as a result of a conversation, and are available for use under a Creative Commons licence, so please remember to attribute!
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Flares*

It was Irish farmer practicality meets home improvement engineering. My gran grew the flowers. My mum dried them. And I, yes I, arranged them in little pots filled with cement. Pretty flowers now with added permanence

Having said that, the same practical engineering had us making rafts every summer for the river. A few of them actually floated…

* flares is Northern Irish for flowers…

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London Underground

The London Underground map is a design marvel. It makes your paths straight. Just looking at it lightens your load. On seeing it for the first time (as a fresh-faced 20 year-old), I thought someone had intentionally worked a bottle shape into its design (essentially the outline of the Circle line.) After attending an excellent after-hours event at London’s Cartoon Museum this week, I saw the map I’m now so familiar with, and thought I’d use the Paper53 app on my phone to fill in that bottle. The bottle does seem more pronounced as the drawing disappears. But maybe that’s just my weekend eyes…

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Hairy and smooth…

George Orwell was a smooth man like myself, so this is obviously what he was getting at when he uttered this utterance. Personally, I have nothing against beards, apart from not being able to grow one. So it’s a bit off when they are stylish all of a sudden in Hipster-ville. When will extra-tall be cool? And will it result in an immediate increase in the height of door-frames? Discrimination is an ugly business…

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Wanted: Honest Frank Feedback

When it comes to my weekly Visual Thinkery email newsletter, feedback really helps me. Especially if I can understand what you’ve enjoyed, and what you’d like to see more of and hear more about. If you also include your twitter name, there may even be a (Visual Thinkery) reward…

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The Binary Decision

I’m now in the habit of carrying around a sketchbook and scribbling down a thought as it jumps around in my brain. I’ve recently noticed that being creative requires a lot of noticing (notice what i did there?…) In this instance I was noticing how decisions are rarely binary, even thought its in our nature to reduce them to a binary state in order to be able to make a decision we’re happy with.

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Ways of introducing yourself…

At most meetings I attend these days, I’m asked to give a brief introduction of who I am – and quite right too – just who the hell do I think I am? 🙂 I always fumble through a few bits and pieces and quickly realise that I’m rambling. So here’s a silly thought I allowed my head to entertain this week. I would never introduce myself starting “I am…”, but today might just be the day that I start…

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My phone works like clockwork

I’ve just bought a new phone cover (my umpteenth phone cover…) and the back happens to be transparent. So I thought I would create something crazy to pop in there. “Clockwork” is a word I found myself using this week – and these two thoughts seemed to have combined in this creation, which sometimes is just how it goes…

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Hey! How’d you do that?

I’ve been asked many times about how I go about creating visual thinkery – so here’s a first stab at illustrating the tools I use. Even though drawing with a stylus on my iPad was my path into drawing, I prefer to use pen and paper as the fastest way to capture and develop an idea.

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Brain bender

I’m fascinated by how the brain takes meaning from its visual sensory input. By adding highlights and shadows, suddenly drawings come alive, as the brain interprets depth and adds meaning. My 10 year-old was doing pretty well at getting this 2D->3D brain trick to work (oddly enough, someone at church had used it to talk about perspective). Obviously, I couldn’t resist having a go myself!

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Fooling around at the airport

There’s always inspiration to be found – even at Heathrow’s terminal 5, which (since the day after halloween…) is featuring a festive feel. I’m not sure if this actually makes any sense about class – but I certainly had fun creating it using the new photo feature on the Paper by 53 app I regularly use on my iPad.

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