This past week, I presented my senior talk on creativity as part of my participation in the Little Joe Ventures Fellowship in Entrepreneurship. I invited Ink Factory, who creates visuals that inspire and engage. Two of Ink Factory’s co-founders, Lindsay and Dusty, hosted a workshop on creativity and visual note-taking for all the Little Joe Venture (LJV) Fellows.
I know way too many people who seem to feel they are not and cannot ever be creative. Ink Factory’s workshop demystified that and showed the LJVs that everyone is and can be creative! I’m not an artist by any means, but I love to journal and draw. I use creativity to solve complex problems and collaborate with others to innovate and create positive change. Before and during the workshop, I got to share my own personal experience and what creativity means to me as well as learn more about the benefits of creativity through Ink Factory’s workshop.
To show that anyone and everyone can be creative, Ink Factory asked the LJVs to draw three circles on a blank piece of paper. We had 90 seconds to turn these circles into anything. It seemed hard at first, but next thing we knew, our circles became bagels, pumpkins, pizzas, basketballs, planets and more. We all started with just three simple circles, and to our surprise, our drawings weren’t bad at all! In fact, they were pretty good. This activity reminded us that if you go back to the basics, you might create something that will surprise you.
A simple piece of advice that I took away from the workshop is that one of the easiest ways to be creative is to open up a blank page and see where it leads you – a letter to a close friend, a doodle, an idea for a new business venture, a practical pro-con list, etc. Sketchbooks are perfect for writing down ideas and letting our minds wander, and with our busy lives, sometimes we just need the space and the time to think.
What truly surprised me is how useful visual notes can be in both my personal life and my life as a student. They help us solve problems creatively and better understand and remember information. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. What this means is that 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual! By using a combination of text and imagery to convey key points, we can find patterns, learn smarter and make connections. It’s not even that hard! A simple drawing of a lightbulb might remind you of an idea you had in class, or it might symbolize creativity, light, etc. A drawing of a mountain might stand for a challenge, the outdoors or peak potential. A heart might stand for passion or love. We can all start taking visual notes now! We are naturally visual learners, and the visual language is universal.
My key takeaway is that it’s not about creating the most beautiful picture or having the best handwriting. It’s about communicating effectively, reframing problems, asking questions and thinking creatively.
It all starts with a blank piece of paper! Check out Ink Factory’s website for more information about their workshops and their tips and tricks.
Rachel (School of Communication ’20) is passionate about female entrepreneurship and digital media. In high school, she started an online news source for teens. She’s participated in Wildfire, The Garage’s pre-accelerator program, on the People6 team, a student-run marketing and research agency.