Having trouble organizing your artistic thoughts and ideas? Have your creative musings become a tangled mess? Want to harmonize your aesthetic reflections and transform them into your artistic expressions?
Artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, said, “Everything is connected to everything else.”
Most artists commence their creative process by brainstorming possible concepts or themes for their artworks. Sometimes ideas pop up inside our heads one after the other so rapidly, that it becomes almost impossible to keep track or to retain them in our memories. At times like these, when our thoughts are in a clutter, we need to document them in a systematic and organized manner so that we can see clearly through the chaos.
When our multi-dimensional thinking triggers a tsunami of ideas and listing these down in a sequence becomes a daunting task, a Mind Map can help by rounding up, organizing and recording them graphically as well as visually.
What is a mind map?
Mind map creator Tony Buzan coined the term ‘mind map’ to refer to a diagram that has a branch or root-like structure radiating from a central image on the page, and which uses lines and colour to show relationships, groupings and connections between words, ideas and images. A mind map helps one to think out of box by ensuring that a wide range of possibilities are considered, thereby bringing clarity of thought.
A mind map is nothing but a graphic organizer that uses a diagram to visually organize ideas and concepts. The main idea or concept is placed in the center of the diagram, and then related ideas are added to it in a radial fashion. It is a visual thinking tool that structures information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.
How to make a mind map
Tony Buzan has set official guidelines for drawing a mind map on the ThinkBuzan website. These include:
- Using a landscape format.
- Starting with a central image in the middle of your page to represent your main concept or theme.
- Using curving lines to add branches to the centre that represent secondary ideas with respect to the main concept and then connecting these to smaller branches representing topics describing and extending these ideas in detail; use single words and images.
- Adding colours doodles and symbols for aesthetic and organizational purposes as well as making the mind map more effective.
- Using short topic and sub topic headings. A single word or better yet, a picture or image will work best.
- Varying text size, color and alignment. Vary the thickness and length of the lines to provide as many visual cues as you can to emphasize important points. Every little bit helps in engaging your brain and unlocking its creative potential.
A mind map can have different formats such as a tree diagram, spider diagram – or even just a flurry of thoughts on paper, as long as it displays the possibilities for a central concept.
Some Creative Mind Map Ideas
Here are some interesting and innovative minds maps created by artists(click on thumbnails to view full image) :
Advantages of Mind Mapping
Mind mapping increases creativity and productivity by helping you come up with more unique ideas in lesser time and also improves your brain’s cognitive powers. It opens your mind while brainstorming and gets rid of hurdles posed by linear thinking. It’s a great way to sort out and link up the ideas you have brainstormed on a single page as all the data is visually available at a glance. It can even lead to the triumphant discovery of relationships between seemingly unrelated topics.
Disadvantages of Mind Mapping
Inspite of all the benefits, mind mapping has some disadvantages too. If you are a left brained or logical person, radial thinking is predominant. While brainstorming you need to be intuitive so as to allow ideas to flow freely. This is tough as logic tells them it’s not possible. Moreover, mind maps can become too complicated if not structured well, making them difficult to understand. Another setback with a mind map is that in order to comprehend it completely, active participation is required as it involves a step by step process while structuring it so it might be a little difficult for people who did not go through the process themselves to make sense of the mind map. But the good news is all these problems can be fixed!
Mind mapping is such an extensive concept that this post just about covers the tip of the iceberg. I personally find the entire idea of mind mapping extremely intriguing and would love to give it a shot for my future artworks. Hope you all are also inspired to try it out as well!
DISCLAIMER – All the information, data and imagery in this blog post is for informational and educational purpose only. While there may be copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, I have only made it available with the sole effort to stimulate creative progress and artistic enrichment. Some images may have been taken from the links included below and I give full credit to these websites/pages, thereby in no way claiming them to be my own. I have also used these links for reference purposes and collection of data; therefore I give full credit to the respective web pages. Most of the data in this post is based on my personal experiences and opinions and I am not responsible for any material that is found in the links at the end of this post.
Sources and Photo Credits –