Yesterday evening, I presented to the North West’s Association for Coaching group on ‘creativity in coaching’. What an energising session it turned out to be: the two hours of material I’d prepared had to be squashed considerably as everyone was happy to participate in all the exercises and wanted to discuss their experiences at length.
In introducing herself to the group, one coach mentioned that she was currently ‘being branded’. To try to capture her brand identity, the designer had posed an intriguing question: “If you were a country, which country would you be?” I liked the way that this unusual question makes the brain search for an answer. Hers was New Zealand. What would yours be?
Perhaps it’s a design trait to ask such questions. My daughter is studying graphic design, and was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a series of workshops with an eminent designer for big-name brands. His first (and unexpected) question to the group was ‘How would you depict yourself in a self-portrait as a graphic designer (without drawing yourself or mentioning your name)?’ Her response was to draw a child’s large, bright orange bucket and spade. Her reason?
“It represented how I feel as a designer at this moment, shovelling choice bits of what I’m learning into a mix to try and create a stand alone structure, or piece of work, whilst highlighting the importance of trial and error.”
What would your self-portrait be?