"A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely, but by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at every attitude" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are infinite things you can do to strengthen your creative muscle. In this article,I am going to talk about one thing you can do today to spark creativity - Sketching.
Now, you may think - Why should I sketch?
Whether you are a designer, a banker, a coder, or a writer - adding sketching to your skill set has many benefits. Sketching is a powerful visual thinking and communication tool. Three key benefits that I derive from sketching are
1. Generating ideas – A sharp pencil and a piece of paper invite ideas to flow and get drawn out. It allows you to explore more ideas in a short span of time. One idea leads to another and you are soon able to create a pool of ideas.
2. Solving problems – Many product designers and programme managers sketch to evaluate possible solutions to business problems. Used in a meeting or brainstorming session, this also enables others to contribute positively.
3. Communicating ideas - Sketching is a simple yet powerful way to express your idea to others. A picture is worth a thousand words. Sketching allows the presentation of an idea to flow in the right way without getting misinterpreted.
What can I sketch?
Most people don't sketch because they cannot think of anything that they can sketch perfectly. I was one of them till mid-2014. Then I took three sketching classes,120 minutes each to take off. I realized it was not so difficult. I learned to let go of my desire to sketch only things that I believed I could. This expanded my world of opportunities and I started to sketch lines and trees and faces and animals and anything else that I could think of.
You too can start sketching today. Take anything that you can see or imagine and just start. Don't worry about perfection.
Where can I sketch?
You can sketch anywhere - at home, in a coffee shop, at your desk, or sitting at a bar. I like to sketch in a public place surrounded by strangers and at home while alone. Find out what works for you by trying out a sketch at different spots.
One way to develop the habit is to ask for a pen and paper whenever you're waiting for someone at a restaurant, a café, or in a conference room and sketch till they arrive.
What do I need to sketch?
Use any blank paper and a pen, pencil, sketch pen or even chalk - anything that is accessible to you. This may not produce the highest quality work but it will empower you to sketch today - that is the most important milestone to achieve. You could also choose to spend a little on H Pencils, B Pencils, and fine art paper at a local arts and crafts shop.