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Hi <<First Name>>,

If you’re going to be distracted by something, be distracted by making something.

The Element of CuriosityThat’s been my mantra over the last few weeks. You see, I started my career as a programmer, but I haven’t actually programmed anything for many years. The Visual Thinkery project pipeline was quiet before christmas, and so I found myself exploring SVGs (Scalable Vector Graphics). SVGs are images described as vectors in XML format (if that means anything to you - don’t worry if it doesn’t). One thing I noticed in getting back up to speed is that the web has matured a LOT since I last tried to make it do stuff. And so it was that I found myself completely ignoring my to-do list in order to try out another idea, and then another one, until it suddenly dawned on me that I could create a piece of artwork, make it public and allow others to remix it without the need for bespoke graphics software.

And that was it. I just had to make it.

The element of DiscoveryI’d completely forgotten how fulfilling it is to create something that (eventually) WORKS. (and maybe the more time it takes, the more fulfilling it is when it does work...) Even if WORKS is a pretty relative self-defined term. It’s making - and I love it.

My 7 year son has been fascinated by the periodic table for a while now. Over the course of a few weeks he’s memorised it, and he loves nothing more than to poke a nearby adult’s patchy knowledge on the subject. I wondered what a remixable element would feel like. On showing the resulting web app to my kids, the first thing they suggested we create was the element of surprise. Indeed. 

If YOU would like to make your own element, then have a go. Don’t forget to tweet me your creations!

Out of my comfort zone...

Ahoy there!

I'm currently on the lookout for a meaty Visual Thinkery challenge that's out of my current comfort zone. Maybe it's a crazy project or something that needs visually brought to life. Maybe it's even a couple of days a week or outside the UK. Who knows? 

So, if you spot something on the horizon in the coming weeks that looks like it might fit that bill, please reply to this email, or pass it on to someone else. :)

Thanks in advance!


Here's some of the thinkery I've blogged in the last couple of weeks:

Is technology addictive?

Is technology addictive?

It feels like I’m missing something. I wonder if there’s a record-setting sporting contest I need to witness. Um… nope. I wonder if anybody’s retweeted that awesome last thing I drew. I’d better check. Sheesh, tumbleweeds. Maybe something’s breaking in the news. It’s still snowing in Scotland. It feels like I’m missing something…

Inspired by the post – Is technology addictive? by Audrey Watters.

The post Is technology addictive? appeared first on Visual Thinkery.

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The Art of Visual Thinkery – a workshop

The Art of Visual Thinkery

A while back, I was invited to lead a full day workshop on the Art of Visual Thinkery, with a focus on mindset. Having said that, I’m looking into the possibility of running some thinkery sessions online. If this interests you, then please get in touch!

The post The Art of Visual Thinkery – a workshop appeared first on Visual Thinkery.

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Shed – ideas worth making…

shed - ideas worth making

I met Paul from Pimoroni at a maker fayre in London recently. I’m a big fan, and I really like how they’ve used a Pirate aesthetic to allow the maker community to really understand what they’re all about.

And so it was that we chanced upon the very spirit of makery captured forever in this conversation:

– Look at this thing that I made!
– That’s great! Why’d you make it?
– Why not?

Why not? indeed…

The post Shed – ideas worth making… appeared first on Visual Thinkery.

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A post-brexit passport

Untied Kingdom passport

So far, the only emerging upside of Brexit is to have a new-in-my-lifetime-but-old-in-others coloured passport. So in order to help out, I thought I’d throw my own design into the mix.

This is the third in the facepalm thinkery series, following this and then this. Given the current state of things, I’m sure there’ll be many more to come…

The post A post-brexit passport appeared first on Visual Thinkery.

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