Can you really learn to See?
Sounds like it’s something we know naturally, doesn’t it?
Open your eyes, take it in, and we see. If that’s all it is, we lose an important part of the picture.
The part that can reveal some substance is uncovering the intricacies, deciding what’s important, and what’s peripheral.
So, if you’re wanting develop a web presence — your overall web picture — website, blog, social media, whatever else that applies — it helps to know what your’re looking at, and what you want to see, before you begin.
How to see. To a certain degree, it comes down to careful observation, something we can easily forget to practice. Although, it goes deeper than that. Learning to really see takes observation into examination, maybe into revelation. There’s an adventurous openness to experience, and even an expectation of a mystery revealed.
Would you mind if I tell a quick story here? .…. I was teaching drawing to a class at a local museum. Anyone could sign up. (and did) One day we had a model, and we were doing basic ‘head’ drawing. As students were drawing and I was walking around pointing out things to look for (proportions, etc,..) I came to one man, and he had truly ‘drawn’ what he saw. In this order, horizontally, one eye, the other eye, and a nose to the right. I said to him, (gently, with humor) “It’s good to remember that the nose goes between the eyes.” He hadn’t seen it. He was so caught up in capturing the details, he’d lost sight of what he was supposed to be doing – drawing a face. I love this story because it brings me back to that sweet man, and the revelation I has that day about how critical ‘seeing’ is something to learn. Learning to see by unraveling the layers and examining what we see at each point, until the whole picture emerges.
On seeing and observation,..
And the other pieces to this puzzle:
- Seeing the literal surface
- It’s so easy to look quickly and assume that what we saw in that glimpse is all that there is.
- So, look quickly. What do you see first?
- a white rose.
good start, but you can see how surface that is.
- So, look again, and you start to see the petals, each open to a different degree.
- Look away, start again and see what happens when you drill down further.
- Color and Light
- Now you’ve started to unfold the mystery.
- Without light, there is no color, without color there is no real interest. If they’re not in harmony, there is no point — no message — at all.
- Finding the Gems
- This is where you separate the good from the inspiring. Identifying what is the most important thing you want to communicate, and make all your visuals resonate from that.
- Simplicity Makes it Shine
- Simplicity isn’t just about lessening the information, or dumbing things down. It’s about elegance, and specifically about communication.
- Keeping things pared to their essence really gets your point across, and then your visitors know if they want to stick around for more.
There are 2 generic sayings, “can’t see the forest for the trees”, and oh, what’s the other one? It’s easy to get caught up in seeing details to the point where there is no whole, or seeing the whole without nuance.
Working on the web, creating something — a statement for your business, perhaps — your starting concept can be visualized in pieces, and it won’t hold together terribly well. Worse than that, you’re not giving your visitors very much, and that’s really what web communication is about.
Better to plan it, from the inside out, so that every nuance is available to those who seek it.
So, go have a look.
And look again.
… at familiar places or mundane objects
… at something you wouldn’t have looked at before, just wouldn’t have bothered with.
Now, start to uncover the layers, the pieces you don’t see at first glance, or maybe even after that.
Get the full picture.
Take it inside as a new way to see.
Use this whenever you find yourself making a quick assessment where there is more to the story.
In the comments section below, share some observations or insights — or what I’ve undoubtedly overlooked -
I’d love to hear what you think, and I’m sure that others could gain from your thoughts as well.