Creative Process

2. Process: Brainstorming Card Elements

This is an article in a series describing the process I use to create a practice card. The practice I’m using to illustrate this process is one to “Call Back Power.”

Every practice card has two elements: 1. the practice including steps, tips, and blessings and 2. the artwork which supports and enhances the practice.

Before I begin creating either element, I like to spend some time brainstorming everything important to making the card effective.

I usually do this with a mind mapping application. In this case, I use Mindjet because it’s the one with with I’m most familiar. You can just as easily create a mind map with a pencil and a piece of paper.

What I like about mind maps is they’re non-linear and when I’m brainstorming, my focus is on getting my ideas and impressions out of my head and into something I can convert to specific actions.

When I’m brainstorming, I don’t edit. I don’t ask “should this really be here or not?” I just add words and phrases as quickly as they occur to me.

When it feels like I don’t have anything more to add, I begin sorting ideas and phrases into categories. My ideas and impressions fall naturally into categories such as visual elements (colors to use, symbols, and themes), objectives for the practice (when to use it, how do I want to feel when I’m done, and specific steps to follow).

The mind map is just that: a map. I don’t have to use every idea. I rarely do. But it gives me a path with enough detail to get started.

Next: Step 3. Choosing a layout for the artwork.

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