Visual Thinking: Pushing Beyond Boundaries

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Visual Thinking: Pushing Beyond Boundaries

Visual thinking is fairly new to me, although it has been around for a long time. As some of you already know, I committed to getting a non-degreed liberal arts education, and Introduction to Visual Thinking is one of the courses that I am taking. I also committed to taking the nine courses between September 2013 and September 2014, but I started last week since I had already chosen my courses and established a personal learning environment. The good news is that I am really enjoying the experience.Visual Thinking

I am almost finished with the Visual Thinking course because there are only nine lectures. I decided to take the course because the title sounded interesting to me, and I didn’t have any idea what it was about. The course is basically about how you view and interpret art. But the interesting thing is that as someone who is skilled at taking things out of one context and placing them in another, in my opinion, the information that I am learning can easily be applied to books and not just art. Because I am enjoying Introduction to Visual Thinking so much, I decided to create my own textbook to gather more information about the topic. I will write a blog post about that, but for today, I will focus on what I have learned so far about visual thinking.

Ideas from Visual Thinking Course

  • Penetrate the information, go deeper and expand it.
  • Art is not made in a vacuum, we need context – we need to know where the artist has been.
  • Technique is a means to get to the end point and is an outgrowth of process.
  • The unexpected happens, so make use of the opportunity.
  • Surrender to the object, the object makes you.
  • Be a collaborator, listen and do something.
  • When you get stuck in your work, don’t discard it, take a break, then approach it with fresh eyes.
  • Work is play, be open to what happens.
  • We take the obvious reality for granted because we become desensitized, pay attention to what’s around you, even the mundane.
  • Photographs do not present reality, they are frozen – they represent a moment in time.
  • You are what you read. You become what you read.
  • Stick with things for a while. When you work with something for a long time you expand it.
  • Draw what you see and not what you think you see. (I thought this was really interesting and important because oftentimes we do not trust ourselves, we do not trust what our eyes are seeing)
  • Art is a part of everything. It is blending disciplines.
  • Push art in different directions.
  • Art should take the familiar and present in such a way to give hope.
  • Develop your potential and have passion for your work. Galvanize your passion.

To think visually, when looking at an image, ask yourself the following three questions: 

  1. What’s going on in the picture? Probe for meaning.
  2. What do you see that makes you say that? This helps you to argue your point.
  3. What more can you find? Complete the examination of the picture, making all the connections that you possibly can.

When thinking of art, how about thinking of it as something that changes others, therefore it could also be a book. As I am taking notes during the Introduction to Visual Thinking course, I am replacing looking at art with reading a book. By working with these new ideas from visual thinking, you’ll be pushing beyond the boundaries. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Liked this post? Share it and subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people.

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