Nine square inches

Today I have an exercise for you.  You will need the following items:

  • 2 sheets of paper
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 mirror

Take the first sheet of paper and use the ruler and pencil to draw a 3 inch by 3 inch square.  Now, withing that square box I want you to draw a picture of yourself.  Don’t worry this is not an art test.  If you’re not comfortable drawing, just do the best you can and only spend 10 – 15 minutes on this. 

Next, take the second sheet of paper and use the ruler and pencil to draw a 1 inch tall by 9 inch wide rectangle.  Now give yourself another 10 – 15 minutes to draw your self-portrait within that rectangle.

So what’s this all about?  Well, for each drawing you had a similar set of circumstances – the same materials and the same amount of space, nine square inches, within which to make your masterpiece.  I suspect however that the outcome of the two drawings was substantially different.  Which one is more pleasing?  Which one is more interesting?  Which one was harder?  Sometimes re-framing the same set of raw materials can lead to substantially different results.  The next time you are faced with a problem, or feel stuck in a rut, ask yourself how you can re-frame the problem or rearrange the elements to look at the situation in a new way.  You may find that the results are quite surprising and can lead you to unexpected an exciting new solutions.

OK did you really do the drawings?  If so, post ’em on flickr and send me the link!

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