You’ve Got to Color Before You Can Run

Sometimes, it can be difficult for new clients to understand why graphic recording and visual facilitation is so effective. This article is part of an ongoing series, It’s a Visual World. In it, we explore everyday experiences that showcase the myriad ways our brains work more efficiently with visual input. Look for areas in your daily life for the visual iconography you rely on, then give us a call. Seeing is believing. 

When’s the last time you colored?

A few years ago, there was a craze for adult coloring books. Some of you reading this probably participated in that phenomenon; maybe you still do. (For the record, we think it’s a great way to spend some time alone or with friends.) 

The idea behind adult coloring was that the simple, focused activity was therapeutic. It could help relieve stress, clear one’s mind, and encourage the deep, background thinking that only happens when we quiet down all the sensory noise up front. 

Unsurprisingly, those benefits don’t stray too far from the upsides coloring offered us when we were children. 

Crayons, Color, and Creative Development

Most children are introduced to Crayons as toddlers, and for very good reason. These inedible but non-toxic wax rods offer developing brains sundry benefits. From teaching about cause and effect to developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, coloring introduces and expands the understanding of how we as individuals can impact the world around us. 

Crayons also encourage young children to explore their own creativity, focus for greater periods of time, and expand their vocabulary. All of these skills benefit children in developing ways to think, interact, and problem solve on their own, without explicit input or instructions. 

When we color, we unleash creativity and develop different ways to think, interact, and problem-solve.

Staying Inside the Lines

A good metaphor is one we can all immediately understand and relate to. And one of the most evocative metaphors for unoriginal, follow-the-leader thinking is “coloring inside the lines.” 

Whether we’re children or adults – there’s a strange, perhaps misguided, insistence that we stay inside the lines. 

At some point, someone somewhere along the way planted an idea in our head that coloring which stayed inside the lines was better, or more mature, or more accurate, or…something. 

Of course, there is value in being able to work within boundaries. The dexterity, precision, and reliability that comes with coloring inside the lines is a comfort. 

But the creatives working among us know that real change happens when the crayon – and its wielder – exhibit a bit more willful exploration.  

Like the child who progresses from mark making, to intentional scribbling, to representational drawing, adults need the freedom to transform the page in unrestricted ways. 

Discovery, innovation, and true value happen when we go further than someone else told us we could.  

Metaphors are powerful. It’s why we pack our boards full of them. And it’s why we sometimes color outside the lines. 

Visual metaphors are powerful and dare us to color outside of the lines.

Colorful Collaboration

Are you ready to join us? Grab the phone, then grab a crayon (or marker, or pen, or anything). 

While we use permanent markers and digital styluses, the impact of working visually triggers our natural desires to color outside the lines and innovate.  

Let’s start pushing past some boundaries together. Get in touch today about ways we can create together. 

Ready to change your thinking?

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