The Mind Map, it's power lies in it's simplicity.

The mind map, what is it? It's a graphical way to represent your ideas, and for artists, this is how we think, so it really fits right in!  As a visual tool, it has many fantastic ways for you to analyze, recall, and even generate new ideas.  

Because the map closely resembles the way your brain works, helps in improving your cognitive function, and is analytical and artistic (it uses both the left hemisphere and right hemisphere), its really easy and fun to use.

How and what as an artist can you do with a mind map?  Why is it important?  Read on...

  • Brain Storming, in groups or by yourself
  • Problem solving
  • Planning
  • Presenting information (like this website!)
  • Jogging your creativity

So have I got you thinking yet. Well, lets start:

    1. Start in the middle of a blank page and write or draw the idea you wish to develop.
    2. As you think about topics related to this central theme or idea, draw a connecting bubble with this new subtopic inside.
    3. Repeat this process with each subtopic expanding out as far as your mind leads you to go.

Be as visual as you can be, which shouldn't be difficult for you the artist! Include different colors for your bubbles, drawings, symbols and text. Label each topic with short phrases, you can develop them much further using software (I show you how)but initially, let your mind go and write down everything (typical brainstorming mantra)! Don't stifle the flow of ideas that come. Include everything even if its seems silly as you are writing because, again, later you will develop the idea to it's fullest potential! Simple? Yes, but powerful at the same time. Since I'm a visual guy, I've always learned better by seeing an example so, I've included a couple here to let you see how things can develop. mind map example

Does this picture look familiar to you.  Its one of my original sitemap and brainstorming activities for this website!

The real original was on about 50 sheets of yellow lined note pad papers distributed all over my kitchen table. 

When I first started, I can't tell you how pumped and excited I was to be doing the process because early on, I knew I could benefit a large amount of people with this information.

Free mind-map software!

I've found software since that helps me manage this process so much better.

It can be found here at FreeMind

This technique can be used for personal goals, your work goals, any project that has multiple tasks that need to be thought through from wedding planning, to birthday party ideas.

Tell you what, need another cool example!

Check out Thaneeya's site, and see how she utilized this technique to balance work and play time! She's an extraordinary artist that has some beautiful work! It opens in a new window so you won't lose your spot here.

Thaneeya's Mind Map example

Another idea! Do you know a home-schooler or planning to teach your own children (or even Grandkids)? Having seven rug-rats of my own, I know how hard it can be to help educate and raise em. Here's a similar mind map protocol geared to the home-schooler in mind, a Learning Tree that provides a road map for your young'in!

I hope you've enjoyed this exercise in the use of a mind map.  Stay tuned for more articles on time management and keeping your sanity as an artist!

till next time....

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