“I Can Barely Draw Stick Figures!” And Other Misconceptions Stifling Your Inner Artist

At our visual note-taking events, we often have people come up to us and say “Wow! I can’t even draw stick figures!”

Are you one of those people? Well, this one’s for you! Drawing is something everyone can and should do because it helps you better understand and remember information, and solve problems more creatively.

Unfortunately, many of us get hung up on not being able to create a masterpiece on our first try, and with any skill, drawing visual notes takes practice. Let’s break through some of the misconceptions you have about your own skills and get on a path to thinking more creatively and visually.

“I can barely draw stick figures!”

And that’s okay! Even the pros use stick figures to get a quick point across. Check out these examples of stick figures used in our drawings:

While stick figures are sometimes the quickest and easiest way to get our point across, our artists still do their best to include more detailed drawings of diverse people. Diverse depictions of people help tell a rich story and challenge biases. Keep that in mind as an end goal while you’re still mastering basic drawings.

Spend a few minutes mastering the basic stick figure:

Once you mastered the basics, bringing your stick figure to life is easy:

See, it’s easy! You can totally draw stick figures. You’ll surpass Michaelangelo in no time.

“I would never be able to think of what to draw for that”

Coming up with visual metaphors is easier than you think. When a speaker talks about data security, we might draw a lock. Later, when they mention “access to data,” we might draw a key next to that lock.

After events, audience members will often say, “I would never have thought to draw that!” Our tactics aren’t magic- we’ve worked to create our own visual libraries in order to quickly generate icons in response to commonly used words. Check out our blog post on creating your visual library for further inspiration.

 “I’m just not a visual person”

Many of us have heard the myth that we are either right-brained and creative or left-brained and logical. While it’s true that certain functions are compartmentalized within our brain, it has been proven that we don’t actually have a dominant side of the brain.

The brain (yes, yours too!) processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Furthermore, 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual.

Even if you have a hard time drawing, you’re still someone who can benefit from visual presentations. Employees remember 80% of what they see compared to 10% of what they hear.  Let our artists help your team translate information in a visual and dynamic way.

“Forget stick figures, my handwriting is totally illegible!”

If we could give one piece of advice on improving your handwriting, it would be to start writing in capitals. Capital letters are all the same height, giving your handwriting a cleaner, more legible look.

Under the impression that you don’t have time to practice your handwriting? Grab a scrap piece of paper while you’re watching TV in the evenings. While catching up on the latest season of your favorite Netflix binge, write down random words or phrases you hear throughout the episode. It’s a low-pressure and easy way to get some practice in (and may help you remember exactly what happened throughout the episode!)

Looking for more tips to improve? Check out our blog post on improving your handwriting.