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  • Writer's pictureAmy Burvall

#gridsgestures with Nick Sousanis and #ds106 Daily Create

Last week I really enjoyed a little collaborative creativity exercise proposed by Nick Sousanis, author of Unflattening, and taken up by the #ds106 crowd as a Daily Create. I talked a bit about it in my previous post, where I admit to my difficulty in confining myself to grids. Here are all my doodles for the #gridsgestures project, and what I really liked was

the fact that I didn’t have to explain them.

Some people did…either in words affixed to their image or in the corresponding tweet…and actually that was great, because I could see how their

thinking translated into images.

But I was in a mental state last week that I really didn’t want to share, and these helped crystallize my thoughts (well, feelings is more like it), without the fear of expectation of judgement.


At least 208 participants! This interaction visualization posted by @arasbozkurt

I wonder, if #gridsgestures might be a worthwhile reflection for students to do at the end of each week? They could add to one drawing day by day (say, a different grid for each day).

It would also be interesting to visualize a lesson or unit in this way…or a story…or a professional talk.

I really enjoyed everyone’s different styles, and the ways in which they projected their respective voice. I shall include some of my favourites after mine:


drawn with Paper 53 on my cracked iPhone 5


sketched on actual old-school paper with my fav black micro pen, then imported to Paper 53 for colouring


ok the long pink thing symbolized a dress I bought at the vintage shop!


can you tell when I was sinking into the blue funk?


frenetic creativity coupled with misdirection as usual


from gloom to doom…with a spark of hope

Some of my favourites:


by @yinbk


by @anasalter


by @aglennco


by Carson Grubaugh


by @hrheingold


by Pedro Cabral


by @Braddo


by @dogtrax


another by @aglennco


by @timneedles

Also blogging about this process was Kevin Hodgson

Amid the Grids; Among these Gestures

and Alan Levine

[Almost] A Week Gridding and Gesturing

This project was PERFECT in that it offered

creative constraints

(time frame=one week; post to Twitter; aim for grids and imagery rather than text)

opportunity for freedom, individuality, and voice

(people definitely experimented with different styles and “breaking the rules”, even if there were no real rules – some even displayed different techniques throughout the week)

uninhibited sense of whimsy

(we didn’t have to explain ourselves, though some chose to)

a worthwhile chance to reflect and be metacognitive

(thinking about thinking – and feeling – is vital and we don’t do it enough)

studio vibe

(the sense of comaraderie one gets while working together in a studio, though not necessarily on the same project – then sharing that and getting feedback)

Thanks, Nick Sousanis, for the fun time (and intellectual and artistic challenge!).

#art #comics #creativity #gridsgestures #nicksousanis #visualthinking

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