Homelearning stylesWhy Value Visual Thinking and Learning?
The inspiration board in my office/craft room. The drawing
on the lower left was done by a friend, Kit, of one of my

I have a funny relationship with visual art.

I enjoy getting lost in great pictures, whether they’re made by amateurs or professionals, and I harbor a certain amount of envy towards skilled artists. I’m lucky enough to have amazing artist friends who’ve honored me by drawing characters I’ve created. I’ve even hung some physical copies on my walls.

I’ve always wanted to better my own drawing skills, as I do think primarily in scenes, but writing and physical craft, like textile work and jewelry, seems to override the urge to practice drawing.

Unfortunately, the visual thinking that goes along with artistry and writing isn’t valued quite as much as it should be in today’s world. Instead, logical and mathematical thinking is prized, and generally tested in schools.

Of course the world needs logic and math, both of which are integral to science and many facets of societal organization, but they’re not the only types of intelligence out there. Most of us are taught from an early age that those are the only ways of thinking that will help us earn a living.

That’s not necessarily the case. This article is all about a couple of artists started putting their artistic skills into the business sector. They’re not the only visual thinkers to see success when given the opportunity to channel their natural affinities in a professional manner.

There’s no way I’d be able to list individual names of all of the successful artists out there, but I can give examples of how visual thinking impacts every day life. I’m in a bullet list mood, so here we go:

  • Business (logos, sign design, web page design, product design)
  • Architecture (Concept stage and blueprints)
  • Fashion (Concept stage)
  • Comics (well, that one’s obvious)
  • TV shows, plays and movies (Storyboarding, character design, set design, costume design)
  • Computer technology (Product design, color scheme)
  • Automobiles (Interior/exterior, engines, electronics)
  • Teaching (Material design, visual teaching aids, video supplementation)
  • Landscaping (Planning of how to shape the land, where to put plants, hardscape design, like patios, walls, gazebos, outdoor kitchens)

Really, name an industry, and visual thinking probably plays a role in it somewhere along the line. We can’t escape the impact of this type of thinking. Even the tube of AfterBite sitting on my desk probably had some sort of visual thinker take a role in its production.

Instead of focusing so intently on only a narrow range of thinking and learning styles, why not encourage all types? We all have a place in the world, and when we discover just what it is, we can all make this place a better place to live.

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