Saturday, January 05, 2013

Mind mapping

There are times when we all sit staring at a blank canvas or sheet of paper, willing an idea or inspiration to come to us.  Its frustrating when it happens.  We all know it happens and we all know that it disappears again and often ideas flood in too quickly after the absence.
There are a variety of ways to look for new inspiration  and feed ideas.  One of these is mind mapping.  This is really a brainstorming exercise, where you let ideas flow without considering their validity or rationality.  They simply become thoughts laid out on paper that start to reveal themselves to you in terms of value and priority.
I found a little software program that allows you to create a map of words and ideas, but this could just as easily be done on paper.  One of my ideas for this year is to create a new series or body of work.  I have a number of ideas for concepts in my head and thought I’d try one of them in this brainstorming format and see if would clarify where I want to go.
You can see where my thoughts were hopping, but with a common thread of lines running through them.  I can start to pull out and define more clearly the sections that appeal to me and begin the next stage which would be thumbnails of the final chosen ideas.
If you would like to try this out for your own mind mapping session, you can access the software free (for 10 sessions) via MindMeister.
Meanwhile, the crop of the painting at the top of this page, is a section of a piece that started this idea thread of lines.  The piece will be a group of stuffed toys hanging on a line in oils on a 12 x 24 canvas.


Lisa Le Quelenec said...

They look so happy to be hanging from their ears and toes! What a fun subject.

This is such a good way of idea generating and I like the way it shows the connections between what appears at first to be unrelated themes. 2013 will be an exciting year!

suzanneberry said...

this is wonderful jeanette!! i love it and the mind mapping! excellent idea and a great concept for a series of paintings! so looking forward to seeing more. think i'll try the mapping out! i could use a new direction.

and thank you too for your very thoughtful words. your support, kindness and caring has been key in helping me to carry on and i will be forever grateful. happy new year and much creative success to you my friend.

Jeanette said...

Seems whatever you do to stuffed toys, they are gleeful about it. Which is just as well they have such cheerful dispositions seeing the life they lead from enthusiastic hugs to being hurled into a corner - and now hanging out to dry. :)

Suz, I get so lost at times trying to think up new stuff and found that this method really helps me get past roadblocks by just throwing out ideas and words, no matter how weird.

I hope it can work for you too if you get stuck.

We all travel down different paths in life, but in many ways they are similar. We all need a helping hand now and then and I'm glad to be in your corner when you need me to be.

Sue Pownall said...

I can't wait to see this painting finished!

I think I'll bookmark your mindmap software, although I currently feel like giving up as my charity donation didn't sell - 1 of only 29% that didn't - and some of those that sold I wouldn't even show as a sketch :(

Casey Klahn said...

The frozen pond scene is wonderful!! Thanks for the reminder of mind mapping, and the new link.

I have become a mind mapper, myself. Do I need a hat for that? LOL. Seriously, it helps me when I have a mind full of ideas that need de-cluttering and sorting.

I'm demoing Mind Meister, and my first thoughts are I enjoy doing them free hand. Will try it anyway, maybe the digital method is a faster way to start.

Jeanette said...

Glad you enjoy the frozen pond. I'll have that little pond at the edge of the property worn out soon.

You're now in the official mind mapper club Casey. :)

I do my 'thinking' on paper more frequently than doing so electronically, then sometimes transfer it to a spreadsheet or word document for safe keeping. I'm not sure if this software makes the process any easier, perhaps just a little neater than my handwriting!