The RVJ; Reflective Visual Journal, is an indispensable tool for all visual creatives. In the lecture, the five tools of the trade were discussed. I have chosen to talk about the first and third principles – ‘Draw. Work by hand’ and ‘Develop visual language’.

Working by hand in my RVJ will be crucial as each project develops as it allows you engage a physical connection between your hand, eye and brain. Whilst doing projects I enjoy sketching by hand, as it gives you ultimate control on what you are working on – unlike a computer where some processes might be impossible – or just 10x easier to do on a piece of paper.

Leonardo Da Vinci developed his ideas by ‘thinking’ on the page. As you can see in this design (top image), there are many different sketches on the page. Even though we cannot fully understand his thought process whilst he was illustrating, it allows us to see how he engages with his creative mind and also the development of the designs on page. For both Da Vinci and us, the RVJ is a safe place to take risks and to ignore our self-conscious negative thoughts. The only way to move forward is to take risks and learn from them – whether they fail or succeed.

My second principle, Developing visual language, describes how thinking and working visually is a totally different process to thinking and working with words and text. Visual language enables us to make complex ideas and associations more understandable. Using visual rather than textual language is far more effective as it opens up a range of possibilities for a more creative response.

The Author Tony Buzan uses mind-mapping to note his ideas. His thought process is very visual using many drawings and illustrations in his work. As we can see in the (bottom) image, he uses quirky illustrations, colour, text and visual vocabulary when mapping his ideas, and this shows how a more creative response can be achieved. he also proves that Visual thinking is not limited to working with images as his text and descriptions are very in-depth, direct – but at the same time very simplistic. His word categories all have a strong relationship, but you have to think which words would have been thought up and created without the creative flair.