Self-inquiry: Uncovering the Secrets of Clichés.

clichés masks metaphors Oct 03, 2023

A simple question about our clichés can open up a world of possibilities to explore.

What lies behind a cliché?

What does it hide or cover?

These were the questions I asked myself to create this metaphor, and they are exactly the same questions you can ask yourself every time you encounter an element that you continue to repeat.

Why is self-inquiry crucial?

Because the responses you uncover will become short visual stories or messages, effectively transforming any cliché into a potent metaphor.

Unlocking the Power of Self-Inquiry

When creating metaphors, self-inquiry is the key that opens the door to creative symbolism. It prompts us to dig deeper, to question the surface, and to make emerge hidden visual gems.

From Cliché to Compelling Tale

Asking these questions not only leads to a deeper understanding but also uncovers the stories waiting to be told. Each response becomes a building block for narratives that resonate, messages that...

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The Power of Embracing Absurdity

  The best way to unlock creativity and craft powerful metaphors is by embracing absurdity.


Consider this: Visual metaphors are rooted in the realm of the impossible. They encapsulate scenarios and elements that defy logic, inviting us to look beyond the confines of the rational world.


It's precisely this characteristic that often leaves us intrigued, capturing our attention.


Starting from a purely logical standpoint can be a stumbling block to the process.


A visual metaphor always involves impossible situations. That's why we struggle to create them if we approach them with a rational thinking.


If we begin from a logical approach, it becomes challenging to break free from conventional solutions.

A Practical Exercise: Embrace Absurdity

  1. Imagine any situation without the constraint of making perfect sense.

  2. Sketch it! (Sketchnoting your dreams can be an excellent training exercise for inspiration.)

  3. Connect your picture to a keyword or...

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Transforming overseen clichés into Meaningful Metaphors

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for our brains to overlook the familiar?

A speech bubble remains a speech bubble, until you unlock its hidden potential through a simple yet powerful technique. In our daily lives, we encounter symbols that have become almost second nature to us.


Cliché symbols serve their purpose, but over time, they become background noise in our visual landscape.


Our brains have a remarkable ability to filter out the commonplace.


Imagine for a moment, though, that you have the power to disrupt this pattern. That you can give a new life to the most ordinary symbol.

It all begins with a single question:


"Can I use it in other ways?"


This simple question holds the potential to be a game-changer in how we perceive and utilize symbols. It invites us to step beyond the boundaries of convention, prompting a fresh exploration of possibilities.


Suddenly, that speech bubble is no longer limited to its traditional...

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 One of the most common mistakes in visual thinking is making visual maps or sketchnotes in which everything we draw has the same size.

A couple of years ago, a video by Dave Gray reminded me of the way the Egyptians represented their gods, and this is a great tip because most visual maps fail due to the lack of hierarchical levels. This means that when you apply visual thinking through a map or a sketchnote and all the drawings have the same size; we communicate that everything has the same importance. If everything has the same visual importance, it will be difficult to attract attention to those important parts of your map.

That's why the Egyptian perspective could help with hierarchy in your visual thinking.

The main characteristic is that Egyptian figures were depicted of sizes based on importance and not on their distance from the sculptor's perspective. For instance, the Pharaoh would be depicted as the largest figure in a wall no matter where he was situated, and a...

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