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Mindmap artist spills the beans [updated]

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I love hand-drawn mind maps when they are well done.  You’ll see many in our Mindmaps Directory.  I sometimes do them by hand myself – in meetings or when I don’t have a computer to hand – but mine are rough.  Very rough.

Usually I move on to a computer-based one pretty quickly for three very good reasons: To make them look better; to make them easier to modify; and to get more content in conveniently – because the mind maps I do mainly have a business focus.  If I’m building a big mindmap, or a mind map to organize information, of course, I use 3D Topicscape.

Paul Foreman, who I’ve blogged about here a few times, and who shows up a lot in the Mindmaps Directory, has an entirely different approach.

His mind maps are all hand-drawn, whether on paper or on a computer screen, and the visual impact is an important part of getting the message across.  Most of them you would not categorize as business maps, either.  They are life-skills or coaching oriented, some are almost philosphical explorations. And all are colorful, exuberant and artistic images.

Now, Paul has made a how-to-do-it e-book to give away some of his techniques and ideas.  Well, maybe I should say ‘reveal’, because he’s not exactly giving it away – he charges £5.95 or about US$11.50 at present.  It’s called “Drawing Tips for Mind Mapping


[Updated: now 110 pages]

Most how-to-mind-map books tell you the process of mind mapping.  Rightly, I think, because above all, 2D mind mapping is a process.  But few tell you how to get the drawing part right.  Paul Foreman’s e-book does, and I think he’s found a niche that needed filling.  Paul advises on pens, stencils, paints and paper, and on making artistic mind maps with computer-drawing software.  He shows how to draw simple shapes and objects, step by step and suggests how you can practise.  He covers the essentials of color balance.  The one thing I did miss was something about lettering, especially the colorful, curved lettering that can look good on educational and inspirational mind maps.  [Updated: Paul took this comment to heart and added a whole section on Lettering.]

He even gives hints on how to “stop thinking”, to let creativity flood in.


Disclosure:  Paul sent me a copy free, but without being asked, and without any hint that I should blog about it.

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