I often pull out a blank sheet of paper and start brainstorming with a mind map – sometimes thumbnail sketches, sometimes words – mostly both. Usually at the start of a new project, but I’d not done one for a few weeks. Yesterday, during a sketch break, I opened Austin Kleon‘s latest newsletter and he was sharing his love of mind maps.
As I was in the middle of sketching some ideas, I thought I’d turn one of my shoe sketches in to a mind map, or maybe it should be called a shoestorm.


I put on the Broken Record Podcast – Rick Rubin was chatting with songwriter Diane Warren – for a bit of background chatter to absorb as I sketch along.
The sketch started to remind me of some shoes I’d seen before – the moulded shoe brand Melissa had done something similar years ago – so I googled ‘bubble shoe’… but ended up following a different thread that caught my eye – landing on the Yanko design site reading about a shoe with outsoles to be made from recycled chewing gum.
Following my curiosity a bit further, I found a story about a new ‘dip-pen’ – called the Drillog – beautifully engineered, made in Japan, with a ‘drill-bit’ inspired design that allows the ink to gently flow towards the nib.
The flow of ideas. The flow of ink. Nice.