Art + Design

5 Simple Drawing Exercises to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

In this increasingly visual age, images speak louder than words. Studies show that images also help people think. Visual note-taking such as doodling increases memory retention rates by nearly 30%, and opens creative pathways, strengthens focus, and inspires self-expression.

In the forthcoming book Draw Your Big Idea, authors Heather Willems and Nora Herting share their expertise on how to channel creativity into breakthrough ideas. Here, the authors share five simple exercises to get the creative juices flowing.

Both ImageThink and Draw Your Big Idea were born out of the same realization—that images can greatly enhance our ability to think about complex issues and problems, as well as enable us to produce creative solutions.

And yet, when ImageThink leads graphic facilitation workshops to give folks the tools to think visually, we oftentimes find that many people who do some amazing things—lead strategy development, manage an entire business’ finances, or develop software code—find the concept of drawing to be very intimidating.

But it doesn’t need to be! That’s why we wanted to share our Five Simple Drawing Elements exercise from Draw Your Big Idea. With only a line, square, circle, triangle, and dot in your toolkit, you can create almost anything.

Take a look at some of the useful icons these elements can create with just a few lines.

Draw Your Big Idea


As champion sketchnoter and graphic facilitator Dan Roam said in his talk at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners last year: “If you can draw a circle, you can draw anything.” We hope this exercise helps get your brainstorming going!

What can you draw with these Five Simple Drawing Elements? Tweet us @ImageThink with #drawyourbigidea and let us know!

Feeling inspired yet? Check out Draw Your Big Idea here.

Nora Herting and Heather Willems

Nora Herting and Heather Willems

Nora Herting and Heather Willems are the cofounders of ImageThink. Heather is a business strategy consultant with a background in art and education, and Nora is an award-winning artist with a history in education and facilitation. Both live in Brooklyn, New York.
Nora Herting and Heather Willems

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1 Comment

  • Migdalia June 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Thank You for the advice. Us Writers need to be encouraged to draw our own Illustrations and what better place to start.


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