The Sandbox Blog

This is where I share studio notes and thoughts from behind the scenes here at Creative Sandbox Solutions™ HQ. I’m all about process here, and I’m transparent about mine, so you can learn from both my wins and my mistakes.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy — drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you.

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Apr 12, 2019 09:43PM


Trying out some ideas that I’d drawn in my journal at the flip chart. There’s simply nothing like drawing with big markers! 👍😁🖍
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#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Apr 09, 2019 10:46AM


In visual facilitation, simplicity and speed are key. Way more important than realism or aesthetics. “Learning to draw” means something different when your goal is to communicate concepts than when your goal is to express the glory of a landscape (or whatever).
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Here is a flip chart filled with dogs, as I practice communicating “dog” visually as quickly as possible! 🖍
These dogs aren’t going to win any awards for artistic achievement, but that’s not what visual thinking is about. It’s about communication of ideas. So if my “star dogs” or “stick figure dogs” communicate the idea of “dog” or “dog-ness” to a viewer, they are a 💯% success! 😊 After being mired in the perfectionist paralysis swamp of the art world for so long, there’s something really liberating about that. .
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#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Mar 10, 2019 11:09AM


Last day of the Friends of Calligraphy retreat. Last sheet of roll paper. I visually captured episode 370 of @freakonomicsradio, How to Fail Like a Pro. Integrating a bit of sign writer’s script and casual script from @corpgraffitiart’s How to Letter Like a Sign Painter ecourse. (So much easier to do s-l-o-w-l-y than at speed!! 😜 But taking the topic of the podcast episode as inspiration, I’m failing forward! 😊)
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#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarker

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Mar 08, 2019 09:48PM


I’ve been enjoying making visual notes of this series on creativity on @freakonomicsradio. This chart is from episode 369, A Good Idea Is Not Enough. My favorite takeaway: David Galinson’s (sp?) two life cycles of creativity. Conceptualists have new ideas, and have their greatest ideas YOUNG (think Picasso, who made 400 preparatory drawings before doing his famous Nude Descending a Staircase, underneath which you would be able to find layer upon layer of preparatory sketches and paintings). Experimentalists, on the other hand, never reach their goal, build up to great ideas, and have their greatest ideas when they’re older (think Cezanne, who made hundreds of paintings of the same subject, each of which was totally spontaneous. 🖍
Where Conceptualists know exactly what they want to create, Experimentalists want to discover the creation in the process of creating it.
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If you know me AT ALL, it doesn’t take much of a guess to figure out which type I am! 😅
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We live in a culture that celebrates Conceptualists. Youth. Product. Aiming for said product and hitting the bullseye. All of these are highly valued. But some of us thrive when we get to nurture our spontaneity and hang out in process, not product. Not to mention the fact that youth is fleeting for all of us! 🖍
Thank you, David Galinson, for holding up these two ways of being as equally valid. .
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#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers #pigmamicron #moleskine

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Feb 03, 2019 11:59AM


Well, the tilted scaffold was not exactly the look I was going for… 😂 and the title lettering makes me cringe. But I got more imagery into this chart, which makes me really happy! 😊
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This 5th and final visual note from Creative Sandbox Retreat is from @goodlifeproject podcast. It’s a great episode, highly recommended if you want to get important stuff that requires persistent effort done. 🖍
Every chart I do is an opportunity to learn—what worked well? What could use improvement? I’m pleased I included more imagery here, and that I got all 8 Ps in without running out of space, or having a huge amount of space left over—👊. Title lettering and banner could use a LOT of improvement! And overall it feels rather messy… but bit by bit I’m climbing this mountain! Onward, ho!
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#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Jan 16, 2019 08:53AM


Practicing icons. Or as @loosetoothcom calls them in her fabulous book, The Idea Shapers, “postage stamps.” A small image that communicates a big idea. This can be super challenging with abstract concepts! Quick: how would you draw “commitment”? Or “engagement”? Or “unity”?
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These are the types of things I’m working on coming up with my own visual vocabulary for, so I actually have an icon in my metaphorical pocket, at the ready, should the need arise. When I’m at a loss for how to start, Google image search is a great jumping off point! From there I can develop my own icon/postage stamp. And the real key, as @evalottchen says, is to draw it over and over and over—at least 50 times before you really “own” it. (Plus you have to *keep* drawing it, or trust me, you’ll forget how! 😂)
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#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers

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