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Sunni Brown

Author, Chief Infodoodler, sunnibrown.com

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Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?

This LIVE CONVERSATION will open at 1PM ET/ 10AM PT on Monday, October 31th! Join me!

Visual literacy, if described as the ability to communicate via doodling, drawing, and sketching or described as the ability to display complex information in visual language formats, is often a literacy missing in adults despite it being a universal and natural inclination in children. Why does it disappear? And more importantly, what can we do to alter this course?

**ADMIN UPDATE: Sunni Brown has asked to extend her Conversation for two weeks. She will be jumping in to catch up with responses over the next two weeks. Happy posting everyone!

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    Nov 4 2011: Before you can walk, you can draw. Before you can talk, you can draw. Before you can read, you can draw. Before you can write...... YOU CAN DRAW
    So with all that experience behind us, why do so many people say 'I can't draw"

    35,000 years since we started painting on cave walls and carving figures out of Mammoth ivory.
    What have we done to ourselves that we educate our children to think of art and visual thinking as being a secondary, lesser subject.
    Policy makers sitting ostentatious offices with art hanging on their walls, nicely designed suits, desks and chairs, driving to work in their beautifully designed cars, telling us that Art isn't as important as other subjects.
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      Nov 5 2011: Agree 100%!

      (With my own bias as artist I would extend it: before you can draw, you can paint!)

      The fact that drawing/doodling actually requires processing (unlike, for example, automatic writing) indicates that it takes active listening and contributes to anchor learning and increase retention.
      Weather is art itself, or the ability to take notes this way that are suppressed, this simply reinforces the belief that instruction and indoctrination are preferred over education.

      A passive student doesn't ask questions, but accepts all facts -he already lost his chance to learn!
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      Nov 7 2011: Some time ago, I owned several graphics companies. At that time, if you asked people what were the five largest industries, no one would have put graphics in the list. Probably no one would even put it in the top ten.

      As it turns out it was the fourth largest: after food, clothing, and automobiles.*

      I'm not sure were it would be placed now. I think hospitality/tourism is now considered the "biggest" industry ... but I'm not sure.

      Think about every industry, no matter what else they do, they all use graphics: from package design, to signage; corporate ID to reports; to advertising, business cards, menus, vehicles, clothing, and so on.

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      * These are industries categorized in broad stokes: automobiles would include all support for autos; graphics would include design, printing, printing presses and inks, paper, photography, typography; and so on.
      • Nov 8 2011: Graphics....used in entertainment, advertising..... It wouldn't surprise me if graphics had actually grown given how influential advertising is and how much demand there is for advertising anywhere it can possibly fit.

        I think visuals not only have the capacity to communicate, I think visuals influence our beliefs and decision making.
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        Nov 9 2011: I hate to post rumors or look like a fool, but one thing I heard was that advertising is a tax write off for companies. Is that true?
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          Nov 9 2011: It depends on the country you're in but generally, yes, advertising is seen a s "business expense" and can be written off.
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        Nov 10 2011: Wow Thomas! Who knew. You just surprised me with that information. Thank you

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