- Paperback: 436 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1494919338
- ISBN-13: 978-1494919337
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Idea Shapers: the power of putting your thinking into your own hands Paperback – November 8, 2016
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"Agerbeck's The Idea Shapers shares fresh insights from her years of strategic thinking. It's rare to find a book rich in systems that's clear and applicable right away."
CEO of Duarte, Inc.
and best-selling author
"Once again Brandy Agerbeck provides simple, clear and highly practical guidance for anyone who aspires to excel in visual thinking and facilitation. Brandy is a master practitioner and a natural born teacher. You can't do better than this book."
Founder of XPLANE
and author of Liminal Thinking
"The Idea Shapers is a wonderful, thought-provoking book for anyone who has wondered how visual thinking works. It holds terrific insights into the relationships between writing, drawing, teaching, learning, and making connections across disciplines. It's not just for artists, and not just for writers, it's for anyone who wants to challenge themselves to think in new and fresh ways."
President & CEO,
Chicago Children's Museum
"If, like me, you've stood with mouth agape, in awe of an impossibly, extraordinarily gifted person with the ability to visually explain and to draw pictures to record and even sort-of synthesize what other people are talking about: admit it.
You resent these people.
I did too, until I attended a workshop with Brandy Agerbeck, wherein she completely spilled the beans -- showed us every trick in the book for doing like she does.
THIS IS THAT BOOK.
The Idea Shapers is the most approachable, dishy, memorable, implementable book on drawing in support of understanding and human communication you're going to have read this much of the blurb for: why haven't you clicked "add to cart" yet??"
InformationArchitect and Co-Founder,
TheUnderstanding Group, LLC
"I have read and shared (gifted!) Brandy's first book, The Graphic Facilitator's Guide, and her new book, The Idea Shapers, is going to get the same treatment. As a visual communicator for 35years (I was Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek for a decade), I found myself taking notes on visual storytelling concepts outlined by Brandy. As a teacher, she has a wonderful voice, a straight forward and accessible manner for conveying her knowledge and skills through words and drawings."
Director of Media Sandbox,
Michigan State University
From the Back Cover
Long to feel less overwhelmed? Wish for clarity in your decision making? Looking for lucidity in your thinking? Seeking confidence in your communication?
The simple solution is at your fingertips.
Paper and pen.
In this guide, Brandy Agerbeck reveals drawing as your best thinking tool, making visual thinking attainable and enjoyable through a set of twenty-four Idea Shapers. Each concept combines fine art and facilitation to turn abstract ideas into concrete drawing that help you do great things.
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This is one of the books that everyone who is interested in visual thinking should buy and have on their shelf. It’s something I will dip into when I am looking to bump up my game, but it’s also too much to take in at once.
For anyone who has tried sketchnoting or graphic recording Brandy will help you get to a deeper and clearer level of thinking and organizations.
I do mean a tome. This book goes into detail for each of the 24 idea shapers, providing working examples each step of the way. The five key stages, Chunk, Sort and Group, Connect and Contain, Scale, and Grasp are a great road map. In the Sort and Group section you will see some graphic design tools that may be familiar, and see how important they are in shaping your ideas.
The Idea Shapers are: The Objective, The Landscape, The Stack, The Retort, The Filter, The Flag, The Spectrum, The Cluster, The Buffer, The Banner, The Connector, The Trio, The Flow, The Container, The Anchor, The Lasso, The Fill, The Poster, The Postage Stamp, The Pyramid, The Investigator, The Integrator, The Iterator, and The Activator.
My favorites are The Trio- Choosing shades of color to emphasize and de-emphasize ideas, and The Integrator- Synthesizing your ideas into a cohesive image.
Dig in and practice with these timely lessons for getting your ideas out of your head, on paper and into the world.
One critical note is that when you are ‘in’ the book, it is easy to lose track of the stage your are in. There are not many visual reminders on the page to let you know you are in the Chunking stage, or Connect and Contain, etc. I recommend marking the key page with the visual map, so you can refer back to it easily.
The graphics work well and the author shares her process of using the tools to write the book.
Full disclosure- I reviewed an early copy of the book and have ordered a copy for myself.
For as long as we have been human, visual art has been at the core of the ritual process. At the height of ritual experiences, artists serve as guides in participants' struggles with the basic symbols of their culture, breaking them apart and recombining them into startling new arrangements that enable participants to transcend the limitations that have been holding them back.
Brandy Agerbeck, the Author of Idea Shapers, continues this ancient tradition in her work as a graphic facilitator. As an artist, she guides her clients through their struggles by literally drawing out the shape of their deliberations. With this book, Agerbeck explains how this same discipline can be used by individuals attempting to grapple with difficult ideas on their own. By bringing ideas out into view through drawing, they literally become visions.
"Messy drawings can still bring clarity," Agerbeck advises. Over and over, this book provokes readers by bringing what seem to be incompatible concepts together in enlightening contrast. So, the approach of its advice manages to be extremely practical while also touching on an experience that could be described as mystical. Agerbeck writes that, as a practitioner engages in the work described in The Idea Shapers, "Over time, you'll see patterns emerge in how you make drawings and how your thinking shifts as you use these concepts... The placement of each idea in spatial relationship to each other idea is a deliberate choice. Each of those choices helps you to organize your thoughts. Soon you see the physical shape of your ideas." It occurred to me, reading passages like these, that the author's process of Idea Shaping could be considered as a form of divination - not in a supernatural sense, but in the sense of bringing life-changing but unarticulated concepts out of the murky foundations of the mind out into the light of day, captured in ink on the page.
The Idea Shapers is an expansive, but tightly organized book. It guides the reader through several scales of drawing, addressing multiple forms and formats, capable of carrying everything from small flashes of insight to connections between big ideas. It provides everything from detailed tips for drawing to elements of a philosophy of art at work. There's more in these pages than anyone could hope to digest in a single read-through. Think of The Idea Shapers as a reference from which readers can develop their own craft of visual thinking, a source of inspiration that will become nicely worn around the edges as it is leafed through over and over again.
In an age dominated by the outsourcing of thought to digital devices, The Idea Shapers has the courage to turn the reader's gaze in the opposite direction, suggesting that the most useful insights won't come from poring over analytics dashboards, but through the act of literally taking thinking back into our own hands. This turn from technology inward makes The Idea Shapers an important work, essential reading for anyone seeking to maintain the human experience of inspiration alive in a world of automation.