It can be overwhelming to learn how to draw. There’s  form, composition, shadow, perspective – it can get complicated really fast. But when your goal is to draw quickly on a flip chart, and connect with people by using icons and symbolic images, it gets a lot easier. The key thing to remember is this:

everything has a shop

….And shapes are the building blocks of simple drawing. Here’s an exercise: rather than looking around your office and naming what you see – “There’s my computer screen, the door, a doorknob, a coffee mug” – I want you to instead practice naming the shapes of those things: that computer screen is a rectangle, and so is the doorway! The doorknob is a circle, the coffee mug is essentially a cylinder.



Drawing starts with seeing what’s actually in front of you. Naming the shapes you see is a way to practice how to reduce any object to its simplest form. If you look at a more complex object, like a table, a truck, an entryway –– see if you can break that down in your mind, and register each of the component parts –– the separate simple shapes that make up the whole.


Next time you’re in line at the grocery store, or waiting at a stop light, look around -– and practice your new way of seeing. This is a great way to build your skill at drawing, before you even pick up the pen!