becoming more visual

I’ve kept journals πŸ““ since I was in high school, mainly for note taking πŸ“ and the ocassional emotional processing.

πŸ€”πŸ–Š πŸ˜’βœ’οΈ πŸ˜‘πŸ– πŸ˜† πŸ“ Β πŸ“š πŸ“šπŸ“š Β πŸ”

Words have always been my medium of choice when expressing myself on paper, and it’s felt increasingly limited the past few years. 🚧

So last year I set a goal for myself: become a more visual person. I started with a simple first step. Bring more symbolic thinking into my writing through the use of emoji! πŸ•Ί

I realized it was working when I started incorporating emoji into project documentation. (Which, btw, I highly recommend! πŸ‘πŸΌ)

So I moved onto incorporating gifs!

it’s pronounced yif

I’m finding that gifs can add a dimension of physicality and empathy to online communications. They offer a much wider palette for conveying complex emotions. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how to bring my own cultural literacies (stories, fandoms, etc) into how I search for gifs, but so far so good.

(As a side note, how on earth do people cultivate and manage gif libraries? What’s the work flow? Is it even worth it?)

More recently, I noticed that I sometimes doodle on the blank 3×5 notecards I carry around. And sometimes the doodles look really cool. It occurred to me that I could start doodling in my notebooks. So I decided to do just that at the beginning of this year!

I’m only a few weeks in, and I can already see that I’m changing as a person. At first it was something I had to remember and force myself to do. That lasted maybe three days.

I started doodling during meetings, and found that being in that zone changes the way I listen.

You know that addictive behavior where you keep checking your phone for notifications and somehow keepΒ opening facebook and twitter up in the middle of doing something else? I decided that whenever I’m in productivity mode πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’», I’d stop what I’m doing and start doodling every single time I have the urge to open up social media without any kind of intention other than to cope with or avoid anxiety.

This is a new experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes, but so far it’s helped me short circuit the urge a few times and regain a sense of self control. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

So what have I been drawing? Mainly vines.


LotsΒ of vines.


They’re even starting to take over my room.

Yes, that is a Terminator 2 reference.

Also, hexagons and bees.

I like hexagons. I don’t know what bees look like.

I don’t know where all this is going, but I can see a style is starting to develop. I’m finding out what I like and don’t like visually. I’m seeing opportunities to sketch out new ideas, and the instant gratification from this goes a much much longer way thanΒ other forms of addictive behavior.

Most notably, I feel a sense of possibility and growth I haven’t felt since I was a teenager.

What happens when I’ve filled notebooks full of sketches? Walls? What happens when I start to take my designs digital and back? What will this practice yield, and in what ways will it manifest in other parts of my life?

Surprisingly I’ve never had this feeling, this particular experience of personal possibility while playing music 🎻. It’s new and unexplored territory!