There are innumerable creative aids, and most of them require an ability to visualize. Some people aren’t good at visualizing; so imagining different colors or objects can become a daunting task. Forget about trying to visualize how a room should be arranged; that’s next to impossible. Here are 10 ways to help you improve your visualization skills.
Draw it out
One of the first things I try to do before visualizing anything complex; is to draw it out.
Do i need to visualize purple spheres or blue horses? Whatever it is I draw them in detail on paper. By drawing what one needs to visualize; it jump starts the mind and it serves as a point of reference to embellish from.
Write down what you see
An excellent exercise, and it can be done for any creative project; is to write down what you see. Go to a secluded place with a pad and pen. Sit down and write down everything you see for 30 minutes. Be as descriptive as you can. If there is a rock next to you; don’t just write “there is a rock next to me.” Write what color the rock is; what size it; the texture; the imperfections in it; how it looks. Don’t leave anything to the imagination.
Create a mnemonic device
Sometimes improving memory can help to improve visualization ability. Make a mnemonic device to help you visualize. Get a rock or bracelet, a ring, anything will work. The objective here is to think of a green sphere around the object every-time you see it. Put the rock in your pocket. Now when you see the rock in your pocket visualize a green sphere around it. Over time this becomes instinct to envision a green sphere around it.
It has been proven that our sense of smell is linked to strong memory recall. You could smell a scent today that you had not smelled since childhood and that scent would bring a rush of vivid memories. Get a scented candle, or incense to burn while trying to visualize. Use this scent every time you need to visualize this thing. Eventually the scent will trigger the vision.
Almost no one succeeds the first time they try to do something; or the second or even the third. Practice and repetition make things easier. Over time we refine and articulate our actions. Practice helps us to become quicker at visualizing.
Reduce to simplicity
If you need to visualize a complex structure like a temple or mansion then look for simple shapes. Pick out shapes of squares, circles, and triangles. Then add details later. If the visualized base structure isn’t developed then one cant expect the details to be spot on too.
Get a soundtrack
Similar to smells and scents, music and auditory components can greatly aid in the visualization of something. If you hear a bark or meow you immediately visualize a dog or cat. The animal has become associated with the sound. Why not create sounds to match your visualizations? Play an album or music dedicated with the purpose of visualization. Now whenever you need to visualize the music will aid in recall.
Look for shapes in clouds
Sometimes creativity needs to be sparked. You can give it that spark by looking at clouds or spilled liquid and trying to find shapes. I myself used to see countless worlds in the flecks on speckled ceilings. Seeing shapes and things in clouds promotes imagination.
Make an imaginary friend
This technique can get quite advanced very quickly. Make an imaginary friend. Give your friend a name and start by having conversations in your head with your new friend. Over time add details to your friend; give them a hat, or claws. Make them into whatever you want. The longer you have your friend and the more detailed your friend becomes the better you get at visualizing.
Scribble it out
This technique is similar to seeing shapes in clouds. The difference being you are making the abstract shapes. Close your eyes and scribble on a piece of paper. After you are content scribbling open your eyes. Now draw in the details of the scribbles. Do you see a fire-breathing dragon, then finish the scribble drawing with purposeful motions of making a dragon. This technique is good for freeing up creative block too.
These techniques can be used individually or combined together. All of them will eventually help you to visualize better. After enough practice and time with these; you may find that the problems you once had visualizing simply aren’t there anymore. If not at least you got a new imaginary friend out of it.